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Aug 12, 2013

Luiz Gustavo keen on Arsenal switch

BASEL, Switzerland -- Luiz Gustavo has admitted his days with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are numbered amid increasing competition for places in midfield and said he would like to join Arsenal.

Luiz Gustavo joined Bayern from Hoffenheim.
Luiz Gustavo has been linked with Arsenal.

The Brazil international, who starred for his country in the recent Confederations Cup, is reported to be a target for the Gunners, who are believed to have tabled a €14 million offer for him.

Speaking in Basel prior to Brazil’s friendly against Switzerland, he said: “My contract with Bayern runs until 2015, but it is very important that I play first-team football to keep getting called up for the national team.

“I am in a delicate situation at Bayern, and this needs sorting out. I have personal and professional reasons to move. I have heard about the Arsenal interest. It’s a big club we’re talking about here, so of course I’d like to play for them.”

Having started only 16 games in the 2012-13 season after the arrival of Javi Martinez, Gustavo faces further competition for a place after the arrival of Thiago Alcantara from coach Pep Guardiola’s former club Barcelona.

While his understudy status did not matter much to Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari -- he started every match in the Confederations Cup -- he knows a lack of first-team appearances could jeopardise his place in the World Cup squad.

“You have to earn a Brazil call-up every week, and one can’t simply think past glories will guarantee a place,” he said.

“There are still a couple of weeks before the transfer window, but I need to keep working. He [Guardiola] has not spoken to me specifically about my situation but personally and professionally there are questions I need to address.”

Gustavo has also interested 2009 Bundesliga champions Wolfsburg, but indicated that he would be keener on a move to North London.

“Arsenal play a very attractive brand of football and are in the Champions League,” he added. “They also have a very clever manager in Arsene Wenger. Even when Bayern beat them in the last Champions League, you could see they are not pushovers.”

His Bayern colleague Dante, also called up for the Switzerland friendly, said he hoped the situation would soon be resolved. “Luiz is having a tough moment, and I hope things gets sorted out for him pretty soon,” he added. “He’s a friend but also a great player.”

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