Date: 19th January 2015 at 3:25pm
Written by:

Arsenal have opened talks with Villarreal over a £5 million move for defender Gabriel Paulista.

Arsene Wenger recently admitted he’s working hard along with the Arsenal board to sign a new defender after hearing of Mathieu Debuchy’s long-term injury, and also said it would be ‘too risky’ not to bring in defensive reinforcements this month.

The Gunners have been heavily linked with a move for Paulista as a possible recruit this month, but Wenger has remained coy over the potential transfer of the Brazilian.

Manchester United are also believed to be in the race for the 24-year-old, but according to the Daily Star, talks have taken place between Paulista and representatives of Arsenal.

Following Villarreal’s win over Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, the versatile defender said:

‘Whether I go to Arsenal or stay at Villarreal, I won’t lose my head. I’m very calm.

‘My head is at Villarreal and I’m very focused. My agent is working on making sure I continue being calm.

‘Playing in the Premier League is one of my dreams. I have spoken to my agent about this.’

Paulista, who signed for Villarreal from Vitoria in August 2013, can play anywhere across the back-line, although his most effective position is in the heart of the defence.

His versatility would certainly be welcomed at Arsenal, and with Villarreal keen on signing Joel Campbell on loan for the remainder of the season, Wenger could use the Costa Rican forward as part of any deal to bring Paulista to the Emirates.