With Arsenal looking to lure Gabriel Paulista from Villarreal this month, there appears to be one logical solution to how manager Arsene Wenger can convince the La Liga club to part with their star centre-back.
According to L’Equipe, Paulista is now Wenger’s number one defensive target after the Frenchman opted against a move for Saint-Etienne’s Loic Perrin, but it remains to be seen what kind of fee the Spanish outfit would demand for his signature.
The Brazilian, 24, has started all but one league game so far this season and, considering his impressive performances, the club would no doubt be reluctant to part with him given their Champions League ambitions.
It’s worth flagging up, however, that Spanish publication Marca has reported this week that Villarreal are interested in a loan move for Arsenal’s Joel Campbell, after seeing the Costa Rican striker struggle to break into the first-team at the Emirates Stadium in recent months.
Putting two and two together, it therefore seems plausible that the Gunners could use Campbell as a makeweight to bring Paulista to north London, although whether El Submarino Amarillo would be content with the out-of-favour forward’s services for just six months in those circumstances is up for debate.
It should also be noted that the uncapped Paulista’s lack of a European passport could put paid to a switch to the Premier League due to work permit issues, but the mere fact that his name has even come up in rumours would appear to suggest that the club are confident of winning a potential appeal.
Whatever the case, it’s clear that Arsenal need another man at the back for the second half of the season, but whether it’s Paulista who is the answer to their current problems will become clearer over the next few weeks.