Tottenham plotting swoop to beat Arsenal to £20m midfielder

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Tottenham could be about to launch a move to steal a Brazilian international from under the noses of fierce rivals Arsenal, with reports suggesting that the club are plotting a move for Luiz Gustavo.

According to reports from Portugal cited by the Daily Star, Tottenham are considering a move to add the Wolfsburg midfielder - who reportedly has a release clause of £20 million in his current contract at Volkswagen Arena - to a core of samba stars that already includes fellow midfielders Sandro and Paulinho.

Tottenham and manager Andre Villas-Boas have come under severe scrutiny from the press in recent weeks, with fans and pundits alike seemingly distinctly unimpressed with the club's indifferent performances in front of of goal after smashing their transfer record on three separate occasions during a busy summer that also saw them sell Gareth Bale to La Liga giants Real Madrid for a world-record fee.

Such pressure was alleviated slightly by Tottenham's morale-boosting 2-1 Premier League win over rock-bottom Sunderland on Saturday evening, but the manner of victory was far from convincing.

The news that Spurs are eyeing a move for Gustavo could concern Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, with the Gunners - who remain top of the Premier League despite being held to a 1-1 draw against Roberto Martinez's Everton at the Emirates Stadium in an enthralling encounter on Sunday - reportedly still monitoring the player who turned down a switch to the club this summer during his time with treble-winners Bayern Munich.

Whether Arsenal actually require further strengthening to a midfield who have provided the catalyst for their recent return to prominence, though, is a matter for considerable debate.

Alongside the resurgent Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and talented Santi Cazorla, German playmaker Mesut Ozil and Mathieu Flamini - both summer arrivals - have been in formidable form so far this season.

However, it could well be argued that Wenger needs to find adequate cover for the latter, with Flamini particularly prone to missing games through injury and suspension.

Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur
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