Valencia boss Marcelino recently admitted he’s interested in signing Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista. The La Liga side are looking to bolster their defence and have three players on their shortlist ahead of the new season, reports the Evening Standard.
In addition to Gabriel, Inter Milan’s Jeison Murillo and Porto’s Ivan Marcano make up the defenders on Valencia’s wishlist. Something Marcelinho admitted, saying: “I think they are possible. We’re talking about important players who already know our league. They speak Spanish, and that’s important, so their adaptation would be very quick.”
The Brazilian centre-back has hardly featured for Arsenal in the last 12 months, having picking up an injury and still only recovering. When he does return for the Gunners, Gabriel could find himself second fiddle to Rob Holding alongside Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi, meaning he may seek greener pastures elsewhere.
Arsenal may even sign a centre-back themselves this summer as a result of their lack of options. Calum Chambers has been linked with Crystal Palace, Per Mertesacker is retiring next summer while Koscielny isn’t getting any younger and has had his fair share of niggling injuries.
Valencia have been linked with Gabriel on and off all summer, but it’s unknown if Arsenal will sell him given they need the strength in depth at the back.