Arsenal look to bolster defence with double raid on Spain – report

Arsenal are set to bolster their defence before the end of the transfer window and are reportedly lining up moves for Liga BBVA stars Gabriel Paulista and Nicolas Otamendi.

Villarreal defender Paulista has confirmed he is in contact with Arsenal about joining the club this month.

The 24-year-old Brazilian has been a mainstay in the Villarreal defence this season and he has helped the club go unbeaten since they were defeated by Valencia at the start of November.

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“Whether I go to Arsenal or stay at Villarreal, I won’t lose my head,” Paulista said this weekend. “I’m very calm. My head is at Villarreal and I’m very focused.

“My agent is working on making sure I continue being calm. Playing in the Premier League is one of my dreams.”

Villarreal are demanding the release clause in his contract, which stands at €20 million, before a move will be sanctioned by the club.

But Arsenal are reportedly willing to loan Joel Campbell to the Yellow Submarines as part of any deal, with the Costa Rican international growing frustrated at being a bit-part player following a very impressive World Cup in Brazil.

Another defensive target Arsenal are looking at is Nicolas Otamendi – an Argentine plying his trade at Valencia who can play at centre-back as well as at right-back.

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Otamendi joined up with the Liga BBVA side in July 2014 and has has impressed at The Mestalla for Nuno Santo’s side as they push for the final UEFA Champions League place available in the league.

Otamendi, who made a name for himself in Portugal with FC Porto, has also been interesting Manchester United and so Valencia would demand a much bigger fee than the €12 million they paid Porto for his signature last summer.

It would seem the Gunners are firmly following up with their interest in defensive targets as they are in desperate need of cover at the back with Mathieu Debuchy ruled out for 3 months, and only have three firm options at centre-back in Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Callum Chambers.

Should Arsenal look to sign both Gabriel Paulista and Nicolas Otamendi, or do they only need one?