Gunners close to first major purchase of the summer as Luis Gustavo nears move.
Arsenal are closing in on a £14m deal to sign Bayern Munich holding midfielder Luis Gustavo, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The Brazilian is free to leave the Allianz Arena this summer after the arrival of Thiago Alcantara forced him further down Bayern’s pecking order.
With Abou Diaby ruled out until Christmas, the Gunners are short of cover at defensive midfield and boss Arsene Wenger was aware his team were especially reliant on Mikel Arteta last term.
The North London outfit sold Alex Song to Barcelona in a £16m deal last summer and have arguably failed to effectively replace the Cameroonian.
Gustavo made 24 Bundesliga appearances for the treble winners last term, scoring four goals, and is expected to be part of Luis Felipe Scolari’s World Cup squad next year.
The former Hoffenheim man can also cover at centre-half, versatility that will benefit the Gunners who have just three senior central defenders on their books at present.
The author of the Daily Telegraph article, Jeremy Wilson, said Gustavo was not the Gunners first choice for the defensive midfield role, with the club favouring Bayer Leverkusen’s Lars Bender:
Arsenal seem quietly confident on Gustavo…Lars Bender was 1st choice in holding midfield but they didn’t go back for Capoue
— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) August 11, 2013