Arsenal have 'chance' of signing Paulista

Arsene Wenger says there is "a chance" Arsenal will finalise a deal for the transfer of Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista.

Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal have a chance of securing the services of defender Gabriel Paulista from Villarreal.

Although Wenger's side boast some of the Premier League's finest attacking talent, it has long been suggested that they require reinforcements at the other end of the pitch.

Speculation has mounted that the club could move for Paulista in the current transfer window, and Wenger has confirmed that discussions are ongoing.

"There's a chance," he said in a press conference on Thursday.

"Talks are progressing well. Can we find an agreement? There's a chance."

Asked whether Paulista's transfer would signal the end of Arsenal's business in January, Wenger responded: "Not necessarily. We are ready to pay the price for a player if he is good enough. If the price is right, we will pay."

Arsenal completed a move for 17-year-old Legia Warsaw midfielder Krystian Bielik on Wednesday, but Wenger revealed the teenager would not feature against Brighton and Hove Albion in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday.

"He's not ready for three weeks. They've just had a winter break," the manager said.

Midfielder Francis Coquelin has impressed Wenger in recent weeks, so much so that the 23-year-old will be offered a new contract at the club.

"I saw that he made huge improvements in training so I sent him on loan [to Charlton Athletic] for match practice," Wenger said.

"He took that challenge and he's done very well. We will offer him a new deal."

The Frenchman confirmed that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Hector Bellerin were doubts for the weekend, although there was positive news in Serge Gnabry's return to training following a knee injury.

Danny Welbeck is still not fit to feature as he continues to struggle with a thigh problem, but Wenger said Mesut Ozil is "likely" to start for the first time since October after a knee injury.