The 24-year-old centre-back has been a mainstay in Villarreal’s defence this season as they continue to impress and fight for Europe.
Arsene Wenger was tight-lipped on Paulista after Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium yesterday, but the Brazilian revealed all after the Yellow Submarine’s victory on Saturday.
“Whether I go to Arsenal or stay at Villarreal, I won’t lose my head,” Paulista said. “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.”
Paulista is likely to cost in the region of £5 million, but a deal could hinge on whether Wenger will let Joel Campbell go the other way. Wenger has stated that Campbell would be going nowhere this January, and has already allowed Yaya Sanogo to leave on loan, so Arsenal might have to pay more to bring in the defender.
Arsenal desperately need cover at the back after being forced to play Nacho Monreal and Francis Coquelin regularly due to injuries. Mathieu Debuchy is a long-term absentee with a dislocated shoulder and Paulista’s transfer would steady up a shaky back four.
Despite these worries, Arsenal were imperious yesterday as they beat Manchester City 2-0. Spanish international Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud scored during a stellar performance from the Gunners.
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