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Arsenal transfer news: Work permit could be issue for Paulista

The defender might be a good fit, but can we actually get him into the country?

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there are not very many pictures of this guy
there are not very many pictures of this guy
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

It appears, based on the smoke that accompanies transfer fire, that Villarreal centerback Gabriel Paulista is or could be Arsenal's top transfer target of the final week and a half of the January transfer window. He's expressed his desire to come, and a look at his bonafides shows some promise. But as we all know, there are hurdles to be cleared before any transfer can be completed, and even if a team and player want each other, it's not always that simple.

For one thing, the player's current team may not want to sell. At least not unless the price is right.

There's some room to haggle. According to Jeremy Wilson, Arsenal have a starting offer of around £6 million on the table with the potential to rise to £10 million or more. Villarreal want something closer (at least) to the €20 million (that's £15.25 million or so, for comparison's sake) release clause in Paulista's contract. That's a bridge that can be built.

More troubling is the work permit issue. Wilson goes into more detail, but suffice it to say that the fact Paulista has no caps for Brazil is a problem, but not an unsolvable one -- there is a way to appeal on behalf of a player who hasn't appeared in 75% of his country's international matches. If the permit can't be had, though, that might be a nail in the coffin that can't be overcome.

Arsenal has interest. The player has interest. The manager sounds like he can be convinced. Those are big positives towards this getting done, but there's certainly no guarantee here.