Arsenal begin talks for Villarreal defender Paulista

Arsene Wenger has identified Villarreal centre back Gabriel Paulista as a top defensive target and the Telegraph have claimed Arsenal are to begin talks over the player.

The Frenchman has been hugely impressed by the Brazilian defender, pictured on the left, who has been part of a Villarreal side who have gone unbeaten since the beginning of November and is regarded as a potential short and long term solution to aid Arsenal’s defensive woes.

However there are certain issues that surround any move and could prove to be big stumbling blocks in negotiations.

Paulista would have difficulty gaining a work permit as he is yet to be capped by Brazil – players with non EU passports need to be full internationals of top 70 rated FIFA countries, and have played 75% of their games for their country within the previous two years of any potential move – although this process can be relaxed through the appeals process.

Then there is the fee for the player’s services which both clubs are yet to agree on.

The Spanish side are said to be holding out for the full £15.75m stated in Paulista’s buy-out clause while the Gunners rate the defender somewhere in the region of £10m after bonuses.

Villarreal are said to be interested in Arsenal forward Joel Campbell and while this could aid negotiations Wenger may not be keen to see a third attacker leave this summer – even on loan.

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