Arsene Wenger insists he is ready to strengthen his squad with the right players “no matter what the price”.
The Arsenal manager has confirmed that talks are ongoing with Villarreal over the potential signing of defender Gabriel Paulista.
The Brazilian centre-back is yet to play for his national team so does not fit the minimum criteria for a work permit, but Wenger says the club will try to get the deal done this month.
"We are ready to pay the price we think is right for a good player, no matter what the price is"
“We are talking at the moment. Can we find an agreement or not? I don’t know. We are slowly progressing but there’s a chance,” the manager said.
“We are ready to pay the price we think is right for a good player, no matter what the price is. If we think it’s the right price we will pay.
“[The deal is] 50-50 at this moment. We respect the rules in England - when you buy a player who does not fulfil the criteria and needs a work permit, you go in front of a commission and they tell you yes or no. We will accept that.”
Work permit rules are due to change this summer, with players costing more than £10 million not requiring a work permit and Wenger admits it could have a bearing on the deal for Paulista.
“First of all I don’t really understand the logic of this rule,” he said. “[I don’t understand] the logic that the availability of the work permit is linked exactly with the amount of money you spend. It should be linked with the quality of the players only.
“Secondly we want the player. If a player we want needs a work permit then we’ll [do] it now because we will not necessarily want to do it in the summer. We are short at the moment so no matter what the rules are, we have to do it now.”
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