Manchester United or any other side desperate to sign a proven midfield enforcer can snap up Brazil star Luiz Gustavo for €35m this summer, but only have until July 27th at the latest to invoke a release clause in his contract with Wolfsburg. That is according to German publication Bild, who insist that Chelsea, Arsenal, Inter Milan or any other club with a long-term interest in the star have just other weeks left to make a formal offer or move on to other targets.
Van Gaal revives race
Arsenal fans are probably fed up with hearing Gustavo's name and have been linked with the 26-year-old persistently for more than 12 months, dating back to his time at the heart of Bayern Munich's midfield.
The fact remains though that Arsene Wenger is a fan of the non-nonsense operator and is back in the market for a player with his qualities this summer, but so is Man United manager Louis van Gaal.
World Cup shop window
Gustavo has used the World Cup to underline his qualities and is a rock for Brazil, one of the first name on Luiz Felipe Scolari's Selecao team-sheet.
Van Gaal wants a player with the dynamism and work-rate to match his demanding tactics at Old Trafford and Gustavo certainly fits the bill, albeit at a lofty €35m price tag.
United have proved they are willing to spend big already though this summer by concluding deals in excess of £50m for Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw, but matching that outlay to land Gustavo would still represent a serious statement of intent.
Wolves powerless to stop feeding frenzy
The midfield anchor has only spent a single season with Wolfsburg following a £15m move from Bayern last summer, but looks increasingly likely to move on as the Bundesliga side consider making a swift profit on the star and salary which are thought to exceed £100,000-a-week from their wage bill.
Wolfsburg are well protected by a lofty release clause, but in truth would probably like a series of potential suitors reportedly including Chelsea, Inter Milan and Monaco to hurry up and help them make more than double their money back on arguably one of the Bundesliga's most under-rated players.
Time running out
The exact specifications of Wolfsburg's contract with Gustavo state that he can leave for a set €35m fee two weeks after his involvement in the World Cup concludes, which could even be tonight if Colombia get the better of Brazil in Fortaleza.
Considering Arsene Wenger's stance on Gustavo in the past though you have to view Man United as favourites to make a move, if anyone does indeed decide to pay a premium for an all-action midfield maestro before July turns into August.
Wenger, Van Gaal and co. will be robbed of the chance to watch Gustavo strut his stuff tonight through suspension, but if Brazil progress expect him to be integral in the closing stages of a tournament almost entirely devoid of defensive prowess.