Arsene Wenger says #Arsenal are in talks with Villarreal, over the signing of central defender Gabriel Paulista. The Gunners boss has been impressed with the Brazilian's form, which hugely contributed Villarreal's unbeaten run since the beginning of November, and he hopes that the defender could be an answer to Arsenal's frail defence.
The Brazilian seems to be in demand during this transfer season; there are reports that Manchester United are also interested in the defender. It seems that the Gunners agreed to pay the £15 million price for the player, but the deal may still collapse over obstacles with regards to Paulista's work permit. The Brazilian is not an EU citizen and therefore does not meet the new FIFA criteria for a work permit, as he still has not established himself as senior international for the Brazilian national team.
The new FIFA rules require a player to be from a country ranked within top 70 and to have played 75% of their international matches in the last two years. Arsenal would have to put in an appeal for the player to convince the #Football Association hearing that the young Brazilian defender was an "exceptional talent", and thus should be granted a work permit to work in the United Kingdom. The recommendation would then be passed on for a final ruling from a government department.
The new rules are fully endorsed by the FA chairman Greg Dyke, who believes that the new regulations would help to reduce the number of non-EU players in England, which should ultimately give more chance to young English player to reach the top level of the game.
Earlier this week, Arsenal signed a 17-year old Polish prodigy Krystian Bielik, who currently plays for Legia Warsaw. Wenger had a need for a centre-back and Bielik met the criteria, as he plays holding midfielder and central defence. The teenager made his senior debut for Legia in August, aged 16, and has since played five times in the league and in the Europa League.
Bielik is the latest teenage transfer for the Gunners, and everyone hopes that he would be as successful as some of Arsene Wenger's previous teenage signings, namely Nicolas Anelka, Cesc Fabregas and Aaron Ramsey.