Gabriel Paulista
Arsenal have turned their attention to Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista (R) after dropping their interest in Saint-Etienne star Loic Perrin.Getty

Arsenal have reportedly turned their attention away from Saint-Etienne's Loic Perrin and are instead considering a move for Villarreal centre-back Gabriel Paulista.

According to French newspaper L'equipe, Arsene Wenger has dropped his interest in his compatriot and will now look at signing the Brazilian defender, who joined the La Liga team in 2013 from Club Vitoria in Brazil.

The French manager is keen to sign a defender during the January transfer window and has been linked to various players in recent months.

However, it was recently revealed by Perrin that Arsenal had contacted him, but not spoken to his club St Etienne regarding a possible transfer. But it seems that the Gunners have changed their minds and decided to pursue the La Liga defender instead.

Paulista, who is contracted to Villarreal until the summer of 2018, has appeared 16 times for the club this season. He is primarily a centre-back, but can also fill in at the full-back positions. This versatility has always appealed to Wenger and the Brazilian is also much younger than Perrin.

The north London team are thinking long-term when it comes to signing the 24-year-old defender, but will face a problem in obtaining a work-permit for him to play in England as he is yet to feature for Brazil.

Arsenal have also been heavily linked with a move for West Ham United defender Winston Reid and the speculation has increased following Sam Allardyce's comments regarding the defender's future.

The Hammers boss has revealed that the New Zealand international, who is on the final six months of his contract has made up his mind to leave the club.

"There is no future for Winston Reid at West Ham at the moment," Allardyce said, as quoted by the Mirror.

"His contract finishes on June 30. He hasn't said he's going to sign or that he's not going to sign."

"Knowing how the football world works, talking to managers about the situation it's very unlikely Winston will sign for us given what people are saying to me," the former Bolton boss added.