Arsenal in talks with Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista

Arsenal remain in talks with Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista over a possible £10million move with Arsene Wenger on course to sign a centre-half in the January window.

Wenger is likely to delay making a final bid for the 24-year-old Brazilian for another 48 hours as the club assess alternatives before making a final decision.

The Brazilian is high on Arsenal’s list of wanted defenders - but they will have to act quickly to get him as he is yet to play for Brazil and does not meet work permit criteria.

With work permits due to be tightened up in the summer by the FA and Home Office, this may be the last chance to sign him before the stricter criteria rules him out.

But Wenger has now whittled down his short list to two or three candidates and appears determined to make a signing by the end of the month.

Credit: Rob Draper/SportsMail