Arsenal target Gabriel Paulista has been left out of Villarreal’s squad for their La Liga clash on Saturday night.
The news has fuelled speculation that Paulista’s move to the Emirates is moving closer to completion.
Villarreal take on Levante in La Liga tonight (Sat) and Paulista will not be included. Paulista had featured in every league game for the Spanish side this season.
The 24-year-old’s switch to north London is seemingly set in place but issues over a work permit has stalled the deal. But now, with Paulista not in Villarreal’s squad, his future looks set to be away from the club.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger recently blasted the work permit system but admitted their was a 50/50 chance of the defender joining Arsenal this month.
Wenger said: “Ideally it would be to open it completely, anyone can come in.
“Because at the moment we are in a position where they force you to spend money on a player who sometimes you have identified.”