Manchester United have joined Arsenal in the race for highly-rated Villarreal centre-back Gabiel Paulista according to Guillem Balague.
The North London side were linked with a move for Gabriel earlier this month as Arsene Wenger is also chasing a defender and it now appears United’s defensive transfer options are increasing all the time.
Long-term targets Mats Hummels and Diego Godin have been linked throughout the transfer window along with Aston Villa’s Dutch defender Ron Vlaar. Last week reports emerged in France that United were chasing Brazilian defender Marquinhos and there have also been reports that United have had a bid rejected for Valencia defender Nicolas Otamendi.
The 20-year-old has played in every La Liga game for Villarreal this season and the team are unbeaten since the start of November. United may have turned their attention to the Brazilian after being told by Valencia they would have to pay over £40m for Otamendi’s services.
Gabriel himself has a release fee of €20m, around £16m, and whilst it may not seem a lot compared to some of United’s previous signings, Louis van Gaal will be wary given his top targets in the summer are going to take up a large chunk of his budget.
Should United decide Gabriel is not the man for them, Arsenal may swoop in after the defender admitted it was his ‘dream’ to play in the Premier League.