Gunners facing competition from Napoli and others for Bayern Munich enforcer.
Napoli could be set to hijack another Arsenal transfer target after the Italians entered the race for Bayern Munich’s Luiz Gustavo, reports the Evening Standard.
The Brazil midfielder is surplus to requirements at the Allianz Arena and Bayern value the 26-year-old at £17m.
Bayern have confirmed that “Luiz has offers from England, Spain, Russia and Germany” but added “the player has not made a decision, yet”.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is in the market for a defensive midfielder, with Abou Diaby ruled out until Christmas and Arsenal current especially reliant on Spaniard Mikel Arteta.
Arsenal value Gustavo at closer to £14m but Wenger has reportedly been handed a £70m summer transfer kitty and should be able to reach an agreement with the treble winners.
However, Napoli also want the Selecao international, a development which has ominous overtones for Arsenal after the Serie A club beat them to the signing of Real Madrid’s Gonzalo Higuain.
Arsenal agreed personal terms with Higuain earlier in the summer and believed they had a verbal agreement with Los Blancos over a £23m deal for the Argentina international.
But Napoli’s interest in the 25-year-old forced Higuain’s price up, and the player eventually moved to the Stadio San Paulo for £31m.
Bayern are willing to sell the midfielder and remain relaxed about the player’s destination, making a bidding war unlikely.
Napoli have one distinct advantage over Arsenal in that they can offer guaranteed Champions League football, whereas the North London outfit must negotiate a trick two-legged play-off against Turkish club Fenerbahce.