Arsenal close in on £17m 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 by the Germans

By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent
Arsenal have had a £17.2 million bid accepted by Bayern Munich for midfielder Luiz Gustavo, Goal can reveal.

Falko Bloeding | Goal Germany

Luiz Gustavo leaving Bayern has been likely ever since Pep Guardiola's prodigy Thiago Alcantara came in from Barcelona.

There is just too little space in die Roten's midfield, especially with Pep going with a 4-1-4-1 formation.

Gustavo showed at the Confededations Cup in Brazil what he is capable of, yet in Munich he has to compete with Thiago, club icon Bastian Schweinsteger and record signing Javi Martinez.

A move to England is not a bad thing for Gustavo, who could establish himself at one of Europe's best clubs and therefore play the number of matches that Luiz Felipe Scolari wants him to play ahead of the World Cup. Many Bayern fans will be sad to see him go, since he almost never had a really bad match. Competition just got too fierce for him.

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 use Gustavo regularly 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.

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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 in the middle of the season.