Gabriel Paulista pleased with reported Arsenal interest Getty

Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista has invited Arsenal to bid for him during the January transfer window, stating he is desperate for a "dream" move to the Premier League.

Paulista, 24, has been one of a host of names linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium, with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger desperate to add reinforcements to his side.

The Gunners boss confirmed in a press conference on Friday 16 January that the club's priorities now lie on recruiting a defender following confirmation that Mathieu Debuchy - who had been moved inside to centre half – will miss three months following surgery for a dislocated shoulder.

West Ham United's Winston Reid and Saint-Etienne captain Loic Perrin are two other names under consideration but Paulista is hopeful of a chance to move to the English game.

"I will not lie to you. Before the end of the year, before the whole story of interest of Barcelona and Arsenal even happened, my manager was here and had a conversation with him," Paulista told Globo Esporte.

"One of the things I said was my dream to play in England. I have this desire. Now this, for me it was a great joy."

Brazilian centre-half Paulista left his homeland to join Villarreal in 2013.

Arsenal are considering a number of options to add to their defence but Wenger appeared to indicate West Ham's Reid – whose contract at Upton Park expires this summer – is a leading candidate.

When asked if Reid was someone the Gunners are looking at, Wenger said: "Of course. We are out on the market and every day, all our scouts, all our people are working hard to find to find a defender," ESPN report.

"At the moment, we are looking more for the defensive department."

Arsenal have already enquired into the services of Saint-Etienne's Perrin, although the club's interest in the Frenchman appears to have cooled.