Villareal defender Gabriel Paulista has revealed his agent is in talks over a January transfer to Arsenal, with the Brazilian eyed as the potential solution to a worrying lack of strength in depth at centre-back in the Gunners backline.
Paulista has emerged as a potential transfer target after a string of accomplished performances in La Liga, where he's been ever present so far this season.
The 24-year-old has helped the Yellow Submarines go unbeaten since November and could be on his way to the Premier League as a result, after conceding that Arsenal's interest in his services is genuine.
Solution to Arsenal's problems?
Arsenal's determination to finally sign Thomas Vermaelen's replacement is clear, but Villareal want to take Joel Campbell on loan before even considering allowing an important first-team regular to leave.
Paulista was asked about Arsenal interest last weekend, telling the Guardian: “Whether I go to Arsenal or stay at Villarreal, I won’t lose my head. I’m very calm. My head is at Villarreal and I’m very focused. My agent is working on making sure I continue being calm.”
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Could Campbell be used as a makeweight?
Wenger's desperation to help ease the burden on Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny will be tested over the next fortnight, with time running out to make sure Arsenal are fully equipped to what looks like a testing battle to once again secure Champions League qualification.
Given Koscielny's continued struggled with tendinitis in his Achilles signing cover at centre-back looks absolutely essential, but then again Arsenal fans said exactly the same last summer and were left frustrated as no new defender arrived.
It remains to be seen if Wenger will let Campbell become the third forward to leave Arsenal on loan this month to facilitate a move for Paulista, but talks continue and Wenger continues to insist he's working night and day to bring extra cover to North London before it's too late.