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£17m summer Arsenal target sought to replace £15m former Gunner

Barcelona are eyeing up Luiz Gustavo as a possible replacement for Alex Song.

This summer saw a transfer chase heat up for Bayern Munich midfielder Luiz Gustavo. It came after the Brazilian holding midfielder played a starring role in the Brazil side that won the FIFA Confederations Cup in the summer.

Despite his obvious class he was not at all ensured of a place in the Bayern Munich side after the arrival of Thiago Alcantara - and after a season in which he did not feature regularly.

Such a talented player, not playing first-team football, is almost criminal - and the likes of Chelsea, Juventus and of course Arsenal were all linked with him.

The holding midfielder position is one Arsene Wenger wanted to strengthen in the summer - and Gustavo soon emerged as a standout option.

It was even reported at one point that a deal was done - worth his £17.5 million release clause.

But just days later it became very clear that he would be a Gunner.

Gustavo signed for VfL Wolfsburg on the 16th August - choosing to stay in Germany, the country he had lived since joining Hoffenheim in 2007, to continue his career.

Now assured of a place in the Brazilian World Cup squad, despite mixed form at his new club, it seems the regular playing time he is receiving has done him good - Wolfsburg was likely the best decision.

But he is already being linked with a new club - just months after arriving at the Volkswagen Arena.

The club in question … Barcelona.

And it seems the one time Arsenal target is being lined up to replace the one-time Arsenal player.

Alex Song’s future at the Nou Camp is not assured - as he has admitted not being happy with his limited playing time since his £15 million in the summer of 2012.

In the event of the Cameroonian wanting to leave Catalonia next summer it is believed that Tata Martino wants Gustavo to be the other pivot option in his team.

What is not sure is whether Gustavo would want to move back to a team where he would be playing second fiddle again - this time to Sergio Busquets.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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