Arsenal Transfer Rumors: VfL Wolfsburg Look Set to Win the Race for Luiz Gustavo

Ernesto Malave@@MalaveFCCorrespondent IAugust 14, 2013

FORTALEZA, BRAZIL - JUNE 19:  Luiz Gustavo of Brazil looks on prior to the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 Group A match between Brazil and Mexico at Castelao on June 19, 2013 in Fortaleza, Brazil.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

VfL Wolfsburg are favorites in the race for Luiz Gustavo's signature, according to German publication Kicker (h/t The Express).

Reports out of Germany suggest that Wolfsburg have already reached personal terms with the player, but English reports cannot confirm the current stage of negotiations.

Should the reports ring true, this would be a second major loss for Arsene Wenger, having lost out to Napoli in the race for Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain's signature.

A player like Gustavo is arguably a bigger loss, as Arsenal have been without a proper holding midfielder for years.

B/R writer Matt Jones has more on how Gustavo would fit at the Emirates:

As comfortable at sniffing out danger with an interception as he is going into a physical contest to regain possession. The Brazilian has in spades all the attributes which were severely lacking in Arsenal’s midfield last season.

...Once he wins the ball back, which the Brazilian so often does, he is capable of recycling the play and starting attacks for his team. According to Squawka, he completed 93% of his passes in the Bundesliga, the highest of any Bayern player.

Clearly, Gustavo could add much-needed steel to Arsenal's midfield. It is now up to Arsene Wenger to do everything in his power to beat Wolfsburg to Gustavo's signature. If he doesn't, Gunner faithful will be unlikely to overlook his indecision.

With this news on the heels of Spurs securing the services of French international defensive midfielder Etienne Capoue, could anyone blame them?

A single point separated the north London rivals last season, but while Spurs have continued to strengthen, Arsenal have not—unless you consider filling the reserves with players like Yaya Sanogo and Alharbi El Jadeyaoui to be strengthening.

That is not to say that those players aren't assets—both show flashes of top flight skill despite their Ligue 2 status—but they are not even at the level of new Spurs signing Nacer Chadli, let alone Paulinho.

Now, Gustavo is keen to leave. The German report, from newspaper Die Welt, quotes him directly:

I want to leave for personal and professional reasons.

If Arsenal are in for the player—and they should be—they have no excuses. They need to secure this player's signature as soon as possible.

They need to get the job done for once this summer.

So, with news that Arsenal may lose out on Gustavo's signature to Wolfsburg, where can Arsenal now turn? Should they continue to pursue defensive midfielders, or focus exclusively on an increasingly unlikely deal for Luis Suarez? Have your say in the comments!