Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Gabriel Paulista is on the verge of joining the club.
The Frenchman made the claim following his side's 3-2 triumph over Brighton & Hove Albion in the FA Cup, with the Gunners progressing at the Amex Stadium thanks to goals from Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil and Tomas Rosicky.
Campbell exit on loan
Out-of-favour striker Joel Campbell is travelling to Spain to join Villarreal on loan as part of the deal, and Wenger admitted in the aftermath of victory that the deal is 'on the line' and close to being completed.
"The deal is on the line and I think we’ll get over the line tonight or tomorrow," he told reporters after the game, according to Sky Sports.
Agreeing a fee won't be the only part of this particular deal, as Arsenal will have to secure a work permit for the Brazilian to play in the Premier League.
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Should that happen, then the same website claims the Gunners will pay £11.2million for the 24-year-old's services after several days of negotiation. His minimum fee release clause was at £14.9million.
Paulista moved to Spain in 2013, leaving Vitoria in his homeland to join the Yellow Submarine at El Madrigal.
His arrival will be a welcome relief to Arsenal fans, who have seen Nacho Monreal and Mathieu Debuchy play at the heart of defence this season because of injuries at the Emirates Stadium.
Thomas Vermaelen departed in the summer for Barcelona, and the Gunners did not bring in a ready-made replacement in north London. A subsequent injury to Laurent Koscielny has left the club exposed.
Competition for places
Per Mertesacker is the other main option, and with Paulista arriving - subject to the work permit and no last minute hiccups - there will be healthy competition for places in central defence moving forward.
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