A dream move to Arsenal now looks particularly unlikely for one Ligue 1 star after he admitted everything had gone quiet after initial talks with the Gunners, saying such a situation ‘can’t be a good sign’ for his transfer aspirations.
Arsene Wenger was criticised for not purchasing another central defender in the summer transfer market following the sale of Thomas Vermaelen and it was crucial that the issue was addressed when the winter window opened at the turn of the year.
"I haven’t had any news on my side either, which can't be a good sign" - Perrin
The Gunners’ boss was, for once, in agreement with fans calling for money to be spent and he has been open about the club being on the lookout for defensive reinforcements. Perrin, the Saint Etienne captain, was one of those linked - his ability to play in defence and midfield was cited as a possible reason for Wenger opting for him.
However, Perrin was not the only one on the list of targets for the Emirates Stadium club and he is now having to face up to the fact that his countryman preferred to go for someone else. Villareal star Gabriel Paulista is expected to become an Arsenal player at some point in the next couple of days.
The writing was on the wall for the 29-year-old Ligue 1 star when all went quiet on the Arsenal front after initial talks over a move. According to the player himself, the Gunners didn’t bother with approaching Saint Etienne after those early conversations.
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"We had some talks, it's true, but nothing concrete. Arsenal didn't go through with Saint Etienne talks, so there's no point talking about it,” he is quoted as saying by French publication Le Parisien.
“I haven’t had any news on my side either, which can't be a good sign."
Perrin lead ASSE in their defeat to Paris Saint-Germain at the weekend, where a Zlatan Ibrahimovic penalty gave the club from the French capital a four-point lead ahead of the home side in Ligue 1. Saint Etienne now have AS Monaco hot on their heels for fourth spot and UEFA Europa League qualification.
Meanwhile, Villareal confirmed that a deal had been agreed in principle to take Gabriel to the Premier League outfit in a deal reportedly worth in the region of £13.5million. Wenger himself admitted the deal was close on Sunday and expected it to be completed on Monday.
The 24-year-old has been an integral part of a Villareal side that has surprised many in La Liga this season and are currently on a 17-game unbeaten run in all competitions. Arsenal forward Joel Campbell will go on loan to El Madrigal for the remainder of the season as part of the deal.