Bayern Munich midfielder issues come-and-get-me plea.
The transfer Arsenal hoped to secure ahead of their first Premier League game of the new campaign, hosting Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium, moved a significant step forward earlier today, Monday, as primary midfield target - Luiz Gustavo, 26, of Bayern Munich - has expressed his desire to play for Arsene Wenger and the Gunners.
Speaking ahead of Brazil's away fixture against Switzerland at St Jakob Park, Gustavo - capped 10 times, most notably against Spain in the Samba Stars' 3-0 Confederations Cup final triumph earlier in the summer - reiterated his longing for regular first-team football at club level so that he can guarantee himself a spot in Luiz Felipe Scolari's Selecao at the 2014 World Cup.
In order to best do that, he may have to leave Der FCB. The player, a Bundesliga and Champions League double winner last season, acknowledged Arsenal's interest in him at a press conference, as quoted by The Guardian, and claimed that the brand of football adhered to by Wenger is one he himself aspires to.
'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,' said Gustavo. 'I am in a very delicate situation at Bayern and this needs sorting out. I have personal and professional reasons to move,' he added.
'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. Arsenal play a very 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 you could see they are not pushovers.'
According to Sky Sports sources, Arsenal have placed a higher offer than previously tabled, hoping to sign Gustavo for £17.2m.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald