Defender presented with gift by team-mates.
Villarreal players welcomed Gabriel Paulista onto the pitch for an emotional goodbye as the Brazilian defender prepares to seal a £15m transfer to Arsenal this January, the Daily Mail reports.
The 24-year-old has been courted by Arsene Wenger this month and a move now looks to be on for him to join up with the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium, with young Costa Rican forward Joel Campbell moving in the opposite direction on loan as part of a swap deal.
Paulista’s announcement as a Gunners player should now be fairly imminent, and it is clear now that he will not be staying in Spain after being given a send-off by his team-mates and fans in their game against Levante.
The centre-back was presented with a yellow submarine in honour of Villarreal’s nickname, and has been pictured hugging his old colleagues on the pitch.
Paulista will become Arsenal’s second signing of the month after they also pounced for Polish teenager Krystian Bielik from Legia Warsaw.
The South American prides himself on his no-nonsense style, though due to his complete lack of English, questions have been raised over whether he’ll step straight into the lineup alongside Laurent Koscielny in place of Per Mertesacker.