Arsenal have switched their focus from France to Spain in the search for a new defender.

According to the French-based L’equipe, Arsene Wenger was in contact with Saint-Étienne’s Loic Perrin for much of last week, but the Arsenal boss has opted to end his pursuit of the 29-year-old.

The same source is now suggesting that the Gunners are interested in the services of Villarreal’s Gabriel Paulista.

For those who are unfamiliar with the Brazilian, Paulista is a versatile defender capable of being deployed at centre-back or right back. As a youngster, he featured in his homeland, representing Esporte Clube Vitória in the Brazilian Serie A where he was voted as the division’s best defender for consecutive years in 2012 and 2013.

Paulista is above 6 foot in height and has been a regular in the Villarreal side which currently sits at an impressive 6th place on the La Liga table.

The Brazilian only turned 24 years old less than two months ago and with his potential which saw Villarreal tie him up on five-year deal upon his arrival in 2013, Arsenal may have found what they are looking for.

Below are some highlights of him in action back in his local league.

Is Paulista a man you would welcome at Arsenal?

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