Transfer news: Arsene Wenger expects Gabriel Paulista to sign for Arsenal within 24 hours
Last Updated: 26/01/15 11:52am
Arsene Wenger expects Arsenal to complete the signing of Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista within the next 24 hours.
Villarreal announced on Saturday that the 24-year-old is to join the Gunners subject to a work permit, with forward Joel Campbell moving to the Spanish side on loan as part of the deal.
And after his side progressed to the FA Cup fifth round with victory at Brighton on Sunday, Wenger said: "The deal is on the line and I think we’ll get over the line tonight or tomorrow."
Sky sources reported last Tuesday that the Gunners had begun talks to sign the Brazilian, which was confirmed by Wenger on Thursday.
Gabriel has agreed a long-term deal, with a fee believed to be £11m agreed between the clubs, with sources in Spain saying it could rise to as high as £14.1m. Villarreal will pay Arsenal £750,000 to loan Costa Rica forward Campbell.
Gabriel's release clause was believed to be £14.9m, but Arsenal have been able to reduce the cost after several days of negotiations that Wenger expressed were "progressing quite well".
Wenger said: "We are ready to pay the price we think right for a good player, no matter what the price is. If we think it’s the right price we will pay.”
Gabriel joined Villarreal from Brazilian side Vitoria in 2013 and has made 45 appearances for the club, but he has never been picked for his national side at youth or senior level.
Campbell, meanwhile, was made available for loan after failing to break into the first team following an impressive World Cup last summer, with a number clubs expressing an interested in the forward.
Among those were Garry Monk's Swansea and David Moyes' Real Sociedad, but the 22-year-old will continue his development on the east coast of Spain as Villarreal continue their push for a place in Europe next season.