Former Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista set to join Besiktas on three-year contract

Former Arsenal and Valencia central defender Gabriel Paulista in is Istanbul to finalise his move to Besiktas.

The Brazilian joined Atletico Madrid in January on a short-term deal but will become a free agent on June 30 and is expected to sign a three-year deal at Besiktas.

The Turkish club are expected to announce his arrival over the next 48 hours.

During his time at Arsenal, the 33-year-old won the FA Cup in the 2014-15 and 2016-17 seasons under former manager Arsene Wenger, and made 64 appearances for the club, scoring one goal across three campaigns.

In 2017 he joined Valencia where he spent five seasons — winning the Copa Del Rey in 2018-19 — prior to agreeing a six-month deal at Atletico.

Gabriel will become the first signing of new Besiktas manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst following the Dutchman’s appointment last week. Van Bronckhorst held his first news conference on Friday, in which he vowed to bridge the gap to the leading teams in the Turkish Super Lig by building a new team.



Van Bronckhorst unveiled as Besiktas manager – ‘The dream is to become champions’

The 6’1 defender is a notable signing, but counts towards the club’s foreign contingent. New league rules limit sides to only 12 non-Turkish players and Besiktas are currently already over the limit. New technical advisor Brad Friedel confirmed that the club will need to carry out squad cutting during this window.

Besiktas start pre-season training on July 1 and qualified for the Europa League play-offs after winning the Turkish Cup last season.

(Cem Hasret Tekkesinoglu/Anadolu via Getty Images)

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