Arsenal appear to finally be on course for their first major signing of the summer with the club closing in on a £14m transfer for Bayern Munich’s Brazilian midfielder Luiz Gustavo, the deal could be completed in time for the opening Premier League match of the season against Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
The Gunners are in advanced talks over the signing of the 26-year-old, who has fallen further down the pecking order at the Allianz Arena after the Barcelona’s Thiago Alcantara joined from Barcelona this summer, with Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez already holding down the central midfield berths for the German champions. Gustavo made only 16 starts in the Bundesliga for Munich last season.
When recently asked about the possible transfer of the Brazilian, Wenger gave the short reply of: "It's as you say.
“We want to play 55 games this season and I think we are a little bit thin squad-wise.”
Gustavo would provide competition for Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere, Abou Diaby and Aaron Ramsey for the central midfield positions at the Emirates.
The Gunners sole purchase this summer has been the 20-year-old French striker Yaya Sanogo from Auxerre on a free transfer.
Arsenal’s chief-executive Ivan Gazidis revealed back in June the club had the finances to compete this summer with the Premier League’s big spenders to improve the team which finished in fourth place last season, 16 points behind champions Manchester United. “The manager is not scared to spend money but he has to believe they are top-class players who will add to the squad.”
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- Stephen Carter