The Brazilian enforcer looked a perfect fit for the Gunners midfield, but it’s Wolfsburg who have acted fastest for his signature.
Reports surfacing from Germany are proclaiming that Bayern Munich defensive-midfielder Luis Gustavo has opted to sign for Bundesliga rival side Vfl Wolfsburg.
The 26-year-old was reported to have expressed a keen interest in Premier League side Arsenal, but appears to have opted to remain in Germany.
German newspaper Die Welt say the deal is long term, with a transfer fee of $17m (£14.6m).
Gustavo had previously been told by Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari that if he wanted to cement his spot within Brazil’s 2014 World Cup squad he needed to be playing regular football and, should the move be confirmed, that is certainly what he will get at Wolfsburg. With his mercurial compatriot Diego playing ahead of him, Gustavo would fulfil a valuable role as anchorman.
The move spells yet more bad news for Arsenal who have had no luck during this summer’s transfer window. Only one signing has materialised so far – young striker Yaya Sanogo arriving from AJ Auxerre.
Arsenal have been short of a truly dominant defensive midfielder since the departure of legendary Frenchman Patrick Vieira to Juventus in 2005. Mathieu Flamini served valiantly, and Abou Diaby will be returning from a long spell on the physio’s table, but a player of Gustavo’s class would have been an enormous asset to the Arsenal midfield – and their exposed defence.
With just three days remaining before the start of the 2013-14 Premier League season, fans will be hoping that Arsene Wenger can act fast to find alternative suitable targets.