Report: Arsenal's pursuit of Gabriel Paulista hits snag over work permit

Arsenal could reportedly face work permit issues over their pursuit of Villarreal's Gabriel Paulista.

According a report from The Guardian, Arsenal could face a stumbling block in their pursuit of Villarreal centre back Gabriel Paulista.

The Gunners have recently been linked with a £10m move to sign the Brazilian defender having impressed in La Liga this season, with Arsene Wenger desperate to improve his defensive options.

With little depth behind first choice centre backs Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker, Wenger has been forced to use full backs Calum Chambers, Matthieu Debuchy and Nacho Monreal in the heart of defence in emergency situations.

It's therefore no secret that the Gunners need to land another centre back, and it seems that former Vitoria defender Gabriel is top of his list of targets.

However, despite Villarreal boss Marcelino admitting that Gabriel could be sold this month, Arsenal appear to be on the verge of hitting a stumbling block.

Gabriel, 24, has yet to receive a cap for the Brazilian national team, meaning a work permit could be difficult to obtain for Arsenal.

Players without an EU passport are only able to qualify for a work permit if they have represented a top 70-ranked nation in over 75% of the games in the last two years.

That clearly isn't the case for Gabriel, though there is an appeal process, where Arsenal would have to argue that the defender is an 'exceptional talent' in order to get that all important work permit.

Right now, that doesn't seem likely, but if Arsenal continue to pursue a deal, they must be confident that they can seal a work permit.

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