Valencia defender Gabriel Paulista has revealed he spoke with Arsene Wenger face to face to ask to leave Arsenal for the Spanish club.
The Brazilian said that the Gunners boss did not want to let him go but the centre back wanted to work under new Valencia manager Marcelino once again. Gabriel was managed by the Spaniard at Villarreal, and when he asked his ex boss earlier this summer about whether he would want him to join him at Valencia, his departure from Arsenal was set in motion.
Speaking to Spanish radio station Cadena SER (quotes via Fichajes.net), Gabriel said:
“When Marcelino signed for Valencia I wrote to ask if he wanted me to return to the Spanish league. He told me he wanted me, but that would depend on me my ability to play. At first Arsenal did not want to sell me, so I went to talk directly with Wenger.”
Gabriel was sold for £10m to Marcelino’s side a couple of weeks ago. The Evening Standard had reported that the main reason for the defender leaving was his failure to learn English and settle in the country, and although that may be partly true, it seems Marcelino’s influence was key to the switch happening.