Arsenal have finally been given a transfer boost after reported target Luiz Gustavo has welcomed a move top Arsenal, should the Gunners look to complete the deal.
The defensive midfielder has found himself further down the pecking order at the Allianz Arena after new manager Pep Guardiola brought in Thiago Alcantara from his former club Barcelona.
Gustavo has been told by the Bundesliga champions that he can negotiate a move away from the club, and the north London side are close to finalising a £14m deal that would see the Brazilian move to the Emirates.
The 26-year-old is keen to improve his chances of making his national squad for next year’s home World Cup by playing regular first team football, and he feels that his best chance to do this is away with the Champions League winners.
“My contract with Bayern runs until 2015 but it is very important that I play first-team football to keep getting called up for Brazil,' Gustavo said upon arrival in Basel for Brazil's friendly with Switzerland on Wednesday.
“I am in a very delicate situation at Bayern and this needs sorting out. I have personal and professional reasons to move.
“I have heard about the Arsenal interest. It's a big club we're talking about here so of course I'd like to play for them.”
He added, as quoted in The Guardian: “Arsenal play an attractive brand of football and are in the Champions League. They also have a very clever manager in Arsene Wenger.
“Even when Bayern beat them in the last Champions League [on away goals] you could see they are not pushovers.”
Wenger is keen on signing Gustavo to ease the workload on vice-captain Mikel Arteta, who missed three weeks in January as well as the final month of the season with injury. Having let Francis Coquelin join Freiburg on-loan, Arteta is the only holding midfielder left at the club ahead of the impending Premier League campaign.
Other clubs reported to be interested in Gustavo include Napoli and Wolfsburg, and just hearing the name of the Seria A club will have Arsenal fans worried at losing another potential signing to the free-spending Italians, who lured striker Gonzalo Higuain away from Wenger’s clutches.
Gustavo’s comments though suggest he favours the Premier League club, and after he was key to Brazil’s midfield during the recent Confederations Cup, he could end up on the opposite side to his international team-mate Paulinho who joined Arsenal’s fierce rivals Tottenham earlier this summer.
Gustavo only started 20 games for Bayern last season with competition coming from Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez, and the addition of Thiago along with Mario Gotze – who is expected to compete with Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller, Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery for the three attacking midfield positions – mean that the Brazilian midfielder will find his playing opportunities limited further.
“Nobody earns a place in the Brazil squad with past glories. I need to be playing to show I am in proper shape for the team, especially now that we have only friendlies before the World Cup,” he admitted.