Arsene Wenger has today (Thursday) confirmed that talks with Villarreal are progressing well with the possibility of signing centre-back Gabriel Paulista.
Villarreal’s manager Marcelino has admitted that the transfer will likely go through if his buyout clause is met.
That current talks stand at €20million (or £15million), and Arsene is ready to go all out to strengthen his defence: “Talks are progressing quite well,” said the Frenchman. “Can we find an agreement? I don’t know. We are slowly progressing and there is a chance.
“It is 20 million euros, which is 15 million pounds. We are ready to pay the price we think is right for a good player. If we think it is the right price, we will pay.”
However there are complications even if the clubs do agree on a fee, or if the Gooners meet his buy out clause. That is because Paulista doesn’t automatically qualify for a work permit to play in England. This is because he doesn’t hold a European passport, and hasn’t played the required amount of games for the Brazil national team.
From next season a new rule in the Premier League will make it so any deal worth over £10million will automatically grant the purchased player with a work permit. However Wenger is keen to force the move through this month. To do so, Arsenal will have to convince a tribunal that Paulista falls into the “exceptional talent” category, if he is to gain a work permit.