Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have been dealt a blow in their alleged pursuit of Luiz Gustavo, after the Wolfsburg midfielder admitted he is flattered to be linked with Barcelona, reports the Daily Express.
The 26-year-old only signed for the Bundesliga outfit during the summer, but is already being tipped for a move away from the Volkswagen Arena, following a series of impressive performances for Dieter Hecking's side.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger came close to bringing the Brazil international to the Emirates Stadium, but the former Bayern Munich star opted to remain in Germany.
It's understood that Arsenal are continuing to monitor Gustavo's progress, but face stiff competition to secure his signature.
North London rivals Tottenham are also believed to be admirers of the South American schemer, despite the fact Tim Sherwood already has the likes of Sandro and Paulinho within his ranks at White Hart Lane.
Gustavo appears open to the possibility of leaving Wolfsburg, providing one of the suitors meets his buyout clause - reported to be in the region of £20million - though a move to Barcelona to link up with Tata Martino at Camp Nou seems like his preferred option.
"It's always good to have your name linked to Barcelona," he told Globo Esporte. "This is the third time there has been interest from them.
"I have a long contract which includes a buyout fee, and if anyone wants to pay that, they can sign me."