• Premier League

Wenger to snap up £14m Gustavo

ESPN staff
August 11, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Arsenal close on Gustavo

Arsene Wenger is reportedly set to bring in Luiz Gustavo from Bayern Munich this week in a £14 million deal after admitting he needs to start splashing the cash in the transfer window.

Arsenal have seen former top transfer target Gonzalo Higuain spurn them for Napoli earlier this summer while Wenger's pursuit of Luis Suarez looks increasingly unlikely to happen either, with a £40,000,001 bid rejected. Liverpool owner John W. Henry has stated he is "unequivocal" about Suarez going nowhere. The only arrival at Arsenal so far this summer has been Yaya Sanogo, a France Under-21 international, who was signed on a free.

'Such horrible lies'

Novak Djokovic entertains the crowd © Getty Images

Gustavo was left out of Bayern's opening Bundesliga match, a 3-1 win against Borussia Monchengladbach. Asked whether there was strong interest from Arsenal, the midfielder said: "It's as you say."

But Wenger moved to deny reports that a deal was already done for Gustavo, who won the Confederations Cup with Brazil this summer. Wenger said: "There is nothing concrete yet."

Wenger has made it clear that Arsenal's squad needs reinforcing if they are to challenge for silverware next season. Arsenal begin their campaign against Aston Villa on Saturday before a vital Champions League play-off match against Fenerbahce the following Wednesday.

"We hope to play 55 games this season. We are a little bit thin squad-wise," Wenger said. "But I am an optimist. This is the first time for many years that we have kept all our important players at the club."

Despite Liverpool's stance on Suarez, Arsenal have not given up. It is believed Wenger could launch a £45m bid before the window closes.

"If I listen to everyone else, he [Suarez] is not available," Wenger added. "But we'll see. We will do things in the right way."

Wenger was speaking after watching Arsenal end their pre-season on a high with an impressive 3-1 win against Manchester City in Helsinki. Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud took advantage of some lapses in concentration at the back from City to put Arsenal 3-0 ahead, before Alvaro Negredo netted a late consolation.

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