Gabriel Paulista
Paulista has been left out of Villarreal squad that will face LevanteGetty Images

Arsenal are considering a player-plus-cash deal in signing Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista this month.

The Gunners manager Arsene Wenger confirmed that the north London club are interested in securing the services of the central defender in January as he looks to step up the efforts in strengthening his side's back four.

According to AS, the north London club will use their striker Joel Campbell as bait in bringing Paulista to the Emirates. The Costa Rican international will move in the opposite direction, signing on a loan deal until the end of the season.

The Spanish club face Levante in the league clash on Sunday and Marcelino García Toral has left the Brazilian out of the squad, as confirmed by Villarreal's official website. This has come as a massive boost for Arsenal as it is believed that the player can sign for Arsenal in the coming days.

The Emirates club's league rivals Manchester United were set to hijack Arsenal's move for Paulista. However, AS claims the 24-year-old has already agreed to join the Gunners as he is keen on joining Wenger's side.

Villarreal are looking for more than a loan deal until the end of the season for Campbell. However, Arsenal are not willing to encourage the La Liga outfit in keeping their striker beyond this term.

The departure of Paulista to Arsenal in the ongoing transfer window will force Villarreal to use the funds raised from the sale of the Brazilian in finding a replacement.

Meanwhile, ESPN reports that Campbell's agent has travelled to England as he is set to discuss his client's future at the Emirates. The forward has fallen down the pecking order behind Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck.

Lack of playing time has seen him attract interest from several clubs across the continent. Former United manager David Moyes is looking to sign him for Real Sociedad, while a loan move to Villarreal could be on the cards as a part of the swap deal in Arsenal's pursuit of Paulista.

It is still unclear whether Arsenal will include Campbell as a part of the deal, which will see the Premier League outfit secure Paulista's signature. Should they allow their striker to join Villarreal, it is very likely that it will be a loan spell until the end of the season.