New Arsenal, star, Gabriel, gets work permit

ARSENAL’S deal for Villarreal defender Gabriel has moved a step closer after he was granted a work permit. Gabriel is uncapped and was not entitled to an automatic permit, but Arsene Wenger said on Sunday he did not foresee a problem with the Brazilian’s application. And Sky sources understand that Arsenal can now press ahead with finalising a signing believed to be worth 18 million euros to the Spanish club.

  That sum is worth significantly less in sterling than it would have been on January 7, and Arsenal stand to save £700,000 on the deal, according to sources in Spain.

  Thierry Henry told Sky Sports News HQ on Sunday he believes his old club are signing “a special talent”, but another former Arsenal striker has sounded a note of caution.

Charlie Nicholas told The Morning View: “He’s getting better and better but I think he’s still raw.

 “Villarreal play an Arsenal-type game – pass and move – but he’s not a natural passing centre-back; he’s a physical presence.

  “Yes, Arsene Wenger has bought Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, but defensively, he likes to create rather than buy superstars. He can certainly nurture this lad but he needs time – maybe into next season.”

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