Arsenal target Gabriel Paulista dropped by Villarreal

The Brazilian defender has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal.

Arsenal have been linked with a move for Brazilian defender Gabriel Paulista this week. Sky Sports are reporting that Arsenal are interested and can sign him for £15 million, the release clause in his contract with Villarreal.

They have now been given a boost in their pursuit of the player, after Villarreal left him out of their squad for the game with Levante this weekend.

The club's official website has published the 18 names involved for the game and the players missing through injury or suspension. Gabriel's name is nowhere to be seen, suggesting he has been left out for reasons other then the norm.

Arsene Wenger spoke about the interest in Paulista earlier this week. BBC Sport reported him as saying:

"The talks are progressing quite well. Can we find an agreement or not I don't know. We are slowly progressing and there is a chance."

Arsenal have had some problems at the back this season. Laurent Koscielny has struggled with an Achilles injury while no replacement was signed for Barcelona-bound Thomas Vermaelen. Injuries and suspensions have seen the likes of Mathieu Debuchy and Nacho Monreal fill in at the heart of Arsenal's defence.

However, if Arsenal can come to terms with the release clause for the player, they might finally add to their defensive ranks with the acquisition of the talented Brazilian.

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