Arsenal close in on €20m move for Bayern Munich midfielder Luiz Gustavo

The Gunners will talk to the Brazilian, who is surplus to requirements under Pep Guardiola at the Allianz Arena, in the coming days after having an offer accepted over the weekend

EXCLUSIVE
By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent
 
Arsenal have had a €20 million bid accepted by Bayern Munich for midfielder Luiz Gustavo, Goal can reveal.

The Brazil international is expected to become the Gunners’ club record signing and Arsene Wenger’s first senior capture of the summer.

Arsenal will step up negotiations with Gustavo’s representatives in the coming days as they attempt to thrash out personal terms.

The 26-year-old is on international duty this week and Arsenal would need to be given the permission of the Brazil national team to hold direct talks with the player if they are to force through a quick deal.

Wenger made his move for Gustavo at the end of last week after Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge had admitted that they were willing to listen to offers for him.

Gustavo fell behind Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez in the German club’s central midfield pecking order last season and told Bayern he wanted to quit in search of regular football.

Reports in Germany have suggested that new Bayern boss Pep Guardiola has no plans to utilise Gustavo this season.

The Brazilian had been close to joining Wolfsburg but he is believed to be keen to move to a Champions League outfit as he targets a regular starting position ahead of the World Cup in his homeland next year.

Goal revealed in February that Arsenal had identified Gustavo as a key midfield target in the summer.

Arsenal made an enquiry for Gustavo in the January window but stopped short of making a bid after learning that Bayern were unwilling to sell him in mid-season.

The north Londoners have been keen to sign a battle-hardened midfield anchorman since selling Alex Song to Barcelona 12 months ago.

Arsenal pulled out of a move for West Ham powerhouse Mohamed Diame in January after failing to be convinced he was better than the options they already had in central midfield, most notably Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsey and Abou Diaby.

However, Gustavo’s combination of authority and versatility has impressed Wenger and his scouts. The Brazilian is capable of slotting in at centre-back and left-back as well as his favoured deep midfield role.

The Brazilian, whose Bayern contract runs until 2015, was an intermittent starter for the European champions last season, although he was out for a month at the end of the season.

Muller to relinquish penalty duties to Alaba

The Germany international has conceded that he might no longer be first choice following his miss from the spot on Friday

Thomas Muller is ready to relinquish his spot-kick duties to David Alaba after missing a penalty in Bayern Munich’s 3-1 win over Borussia Monchengladbach.

The 23-year-old has been taking penalties at Bayern ever since Arjen Robben’s miss in the 2012 Champions League final, but Alaba now seems to be the new first choice following Muller’s misery from 12 yards in their league opener.

“I went for the wrong strategy this time around. I should have looked at what the goalkeeper did,” Muller told reporters.

“I am still happy to take penalties, but I think David Alaba is the main man for spot kicks for now.”

Alaba, 21, netted five goals for Bayern last season, two of which came from the spot in games where Muller started from the bench.

Gotze: I understand Dortmund fans' frustration

The attacking midfielder accepts the BVB faithful’s anger over his transfer, but has urged the supporters to also look at it from his point of view

Mario Gotze has admitted that he understands the anger of Borussia Dortmund fans following his €37 million summer move to Bayern Munich.

The Germany international’s decision to leave BVB for one of their biggest rivals caused uproar among Dortmund supporters, yet the 21-year-old feels people should also look at it from his perspective.

“I can definitely understand their frustration. I played for Dortmund for quite a while and then joined Bayern. A lot of fans simply don’t like that. I can understand their feelings,” the attacking midfielder told ZDF.

“One should also look at it from my side, though. I want to keep on developing as a player. People should look at it from that angle, too.

“It was a combination of things that convinced me to join Bayern. There were a lot of reasons for me. The coach, the club and I wanted to try something new.”

Gotze made his Bayern debut in the 4-1 friendly win over Gyor on Sunday, netting twice during his 30 minutes on the pitch.

Convicted Breno to coach Bayern reserves

The jailed centre-back will begin his reintroduction to society by taking coaching sessions for FCB’s second string and he may even get the chance to play

Ex-Bayern Munich defender Breno is to link up with his former employers to take up a coaching role with the reserve side during his day release from prison it has been revealed.

The Brazilian was sentenced to three years and nine months behind bars back in July 2012 after being convicted of arson having set fire to his rented villa.

However a spokesman for Stadelheim prison in Munich, where Breno is serving his sentence, revealed he was due to start day release and that the former Sao Paulo player will be aiding Dremmler Wolfgang in his role of Head of Youth Performance at the club.

“With this step, Breno has the chance to re-integrate himself back into society as soon as possible,” the spokesman told Focus magazine.

The representative from Stadelheim prison went on to deny that any offer of work had been made to Breno by either Nuremberg or Sao Paulo, as had been reported, stating that, “this was never the case”.

There is also an opportunity that Breno could potentially end up playing for Bayern’s second string while on release, as the defender has done his best to stay in shape while on the inside.

“Breno is as fit as a prison inmate can be” added the spokesman.

The defender will still be expected to return to the prison in the evening to sleep and the prison is aware of how important it is to protect the former professional during his initial release.

“We must be able to protect Breno from the media frenzy.”

The prison’s decision to grant Breno day release has come amidst calls for him to be released entirely, including a plea from Brazilian national coach Luis Felipe Scolari, who suggested the player should be allowed to return to his native Brazil only last week.

Guardiola is not a magician – Sammer

The Bundesliga champions got off to a winning start against Borussia Monchengladbach but the 45-year-old has warned that the Spanish coach will need more time to adapt

Bayern Munich sporting director Matthias Sammer insists that Pep Guardiola “is not a magician” and will need time to adapt to his new surroundings.

Expectations at the Bavarians are sky-high following the 42-year-old’s arrival this summer on the back of the club’s treble-winning campaign of 2012-13, but Sammer feels people cannot expect Guardiola to replicate such success straight away.

“Jupp Heynckes did not win anything in his first year at Bayern Munich. Jupp is a superb trainer, no doubt about that, but he needed a bit of time as well,” Sammer told Sky.

“Now everybody says Pep Guardiola doesn’t need any time to adapt and this is something I cannot understand.

“We have a new coach, who will need time to get used to his players, tactical formation and the board of directors.

“He is not a magician. He works hard, talks a lot with the players and does so in German. The fact that there’s a big hype surrounding him and that he won everything he could win at Barcelona counts for nothing now.”

Guardiola guided Bayern to a 3-1 win over Borussia Monchengladbach in his Bundesliga debut on Friday.