Villarreal have revealed the news of the deal with Arsenal on their star defender Gabriel. The clubs had agreed a transfer deal in principle for the 24-year-old, thought to be in range of £13m.
Joel Campbell heads the opposite way on a loan, to spend the second part of the season in La Liga. Campbell had signed for Arsenal in 2011 from the Costa Rican side Saprissa, and has since been loaned three times, to French Lorient, Spanish side Real Betis and the Greek Olympiacos. Campbell has also made 10 appearances for Arsenal this season, but Wenger seems to have better attacking options.
Paulista is now expected to travel to north London and undergo medical examinations in the next couple of days, although Arsenal still have to get a work permit for the Brazilian before finalising the move for the defender. With the potential work permit issues, as he is still uncapped in the Brazilian national squad, he was said to have great chance to the Emirates Stadium a couple of days ago.
Arsene Wenger confirmed on Thursday that Arsenal were in the optimistic talks over the signing of the Brazilian centre-back, who joined Villarreal in 2013 from Brazilian side Vitoria.
Arsene Wenger, asked on possibility for signing new defenders, has stated :
“If we have another injury or two we will struggle. It is risky not to sign anyone – too risky”
There is a need for Home Office approval because the 24-year-old did not meet the required international criteria for a work permit as he is yet to represent Brazil, and Arsenal thus have to convince them Gabriel is an exceptional talent.
Marcelino Garcia, Villarreal’s manager, has also stated Gabriel is close to signing, adding that :
"If Gabriel finally leaves another player will have to come to fight for a starting spot because it is necessary to compete in three competitions. Let's see what happens and then we will have to decide."
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