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Arsenal target Gabriel left out of Villarreal squad

Arsenal's target, Gabriel, has been left out of Villarreal's squad.

Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Gabriel Paulista played for Villarreal on Wednesday in the first leg of Villarreal's Copa del Rey tie with Getafe. Gabriel contributed to a clean sheet in a 1-0 victory. Wednesday's match may have been his last with the Yellow Submarine, with a transfer to Arsenal looking more likely. Consequently, Gabriel has been left out of the squad for Villarreal's next match, against Levante.

With Arsène Wenger saying yesterday that talks were 50-50, this development is another one that indicates that negotiations are progressing positively. Some Spanish newspapers today reported that Joel Campbell may be going the other way, with his agent having flown into the United Kingdom to discuss his client's future with the club. However, reports of Campbell's departure seem to just be speculation, and the full details of the transfer have not been made public yet. The obstacle of a work permit, however, still looms large over the transfer, but Arsenal feel confident that Gabriel can count as an "exceptional talent" and gain a work permit.