Luiz Gustavo may just be the best defensive midfielder on the market this summer, and Premier League clubs linked with his signature are on the verge of losing out.
Both Arsenal and Chelsea were touted as possible destinations for the Brazilian international, most recently last week.
Gustavo is expected to leave Bayern Munich where he is surplus to requirements due to the intense competition for places exacerbated by Thiago Alcantara's arrival, which is even causing Bastian Schweinsteiger to fear for his place.
Both clubs are behind Wolfsburg in the pursuit of the defensive midfielder, who are reported to have made a huge offer to try and tempt Gustavo into making a cross-Bundesliga switch.
Wolfsburg based website Waz Online-De report a €20 million bid is likely to be made for his services, and a €7 million a year salary offer is on the table.
"VfL is said to have sent (a contract) to Luiz Gustavo and his advisors. The content is rumored of 7 million euros gross - slightly more than the Brazilian has at Bayern... As the first release requirement of Bavaria had been described as 20 million euros. That would clearly (be a) record for the VfL."
They state that nothing is official just yet, but Wolfsburg are in pole position for his signature with Chelsea claimed in the report to have switched their attentions to Sami Khedira.
But German legend and Bayern Munich CEO Karl Heinz Rumminegge has confirmed permission has been given to Wolfsburg to hold talks with Gustavo, and a price will be agreed afterwards.
He said: "When Wolfsburg agree with him, we will have further discussions."
Arsenal are yet to make a bid, and are at present offering a trial to defensive midfielder Sebastian Perez, 20, of Colombian club Atletico Nacional.
The Gunners have reportedly been in the market for a defensive midfielder even since before selling Alex Song last summer, while Chelsea are potentially open to upgrading or offering new competition to Jon Obi Mikel.
If either want to move for Gustavo, now is the time to do it before Wolfsburg agree terms and front up the money Bayern are said to be demanding.
image: © jiazi