Reliable reports in Spain say Arsenal have agreed a £11.2million deal for Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista, the defender is now due to fly in for a medical.
Arsene Wenger and his team have managed to negotiate the fee as slightly below Paulista’s £15million release clause, which Villarreal were originally demanding. He is expected to earn around £80,000 per-week and sign a 4 and a half year deal with the Gunners.
The news has been confirmed by the reliable Spanish journalist Kike Marin.
— Kike Marin** (@Kike_Marin_) January 24, 2015
This roughly translates to a 18million euro deal being agreed between the two clubs and Gabriel being expected in London soon. The medical is due to take place on Monday and Arsenal are confident of securing a work permit for the Brazilian centre back.
Paulista was not named in his teams squad to play on Saturday, fuelling speculation of a deal being close to completion. This was later confirmed when Kike Marin broke the news of an agreement.
Joel Campbell will join Villarreal on loan until the end of the season as part of the deal.
Villareal’s manager, Marcelino also appeared to confirm a deal was close on Tuesday: “If both Gabriel and the club believe that sale to Arsenal is what [is] best for everyone, we accept it.”
Paulista is a centre-back for a Villarreal side that is unbeaten since November. Wenger has been impressed with his form over the last few months. Only Barcelona and Real Madrid have conceded fewer goals than Villarreal in La Liga this season, and Paulista has been central to that achievement.
Wenger had already confirmed talks were ongoing for the defender earlier in the week.
If a deal is completed, you would expect Paulista to battle with Per Mertesacker for a starting spot in Arsenal’s team. He would be eligible to play in the Champions League having not competed in Europe with Villarreal this season.