Arsenal have been given encouragement in their bid to sign Bayern Munich midfielder Luiz Gustavo, after he expressed a desire to play for the Emirates Stadium club.
Arsene Wenger is reportedly interested in signing the Brazil international and has made a £17.2million offer as he looks to strengthen his defensive midfield area.
The Gunners are yet to spend any money this summer but this could change quickly in light of Gustavo’s comments, made while on international duty for a match with Switzerland.
Bayern are prepared to let the 26-year-old leave after it became clear he would be nothing more than a back up for the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Javi Martinez and summer signing Thiago Alcantara.
Gustavo is concerned Pep Guardiola’s preference for others will affect his chances of getting into the Brazil side ahead of the World Cup there next year and is open to an Arsenal switch.
“My contract with Bayern runs until 2015, but it is very important that I play first-team football to keep getting called up for the national team,” he is quoted as saying by ESPN.
“I am in a 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.”
Arsenal have struggled with the defensive midfield area when Mikel Arteta has been unavailable, so signing Gustavo would help address that.
The former Hoffenheim man can also cover at centre-back and right-back, so would provide Wenger with a number of different options.