Gustavo was deemed surplus to requirements ever since Pep Guardiola took over from treble-winning coach Jupp Heynckes for the upcoming season. The former Barcelona coach has already raided his old team to capture the highly-talented Thiago Alcantara, who is considered to be a direct replacement for the outbound Gustavo.
The 26-year-old was being targeted by Bundesliga rivals Wolfsburg ever since last season drew to a close, but Premier League side Arsenal entered the race for the Brazilian around two weeks back. They made their interest official, by tabling a bid worth £17 million to Bayern Munich.
Gustavo welcomed Arsenal’s interest, and was even open to the possibility of joining the Gunners. However, in a dramatic twist, the midfield enforcer has declined a move to north London in favour of a switch to Wolfsburg, who finished 11th last season in the Bundesliga.
According to ESPN, Gustavo has ended Arsenal’s interest in him by penning a five-year contract with Wolfsburg. The Brazil midfielder chose to remain in Germany in order to give him a better chance to make it to the World Cup in Brazil with the national team. Wolfsburg general manager Klaus Allofs said, “We are delighted that we have Luiz with us.”
The prospect of regular football at Wolfsburg eventually led to Arsenal losing out on the player. The Gunners would not have been able to guarantee him first-team football week-in week-out. He said, “I need to play, play, play” in a direct reference to be included in the travelling party destined for Brazil.
The central midfielder, fresh from winning the Confederations Cup with Brazil, had joined Bayern from Hoffenheim in January 2011 but has ended his two-and-half year spell in Munich.
He played 100 games for Bayern during that period, scoring six goals and helping the club to a historic treble last season. On his departure, Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said, “In the name of FC Bayern I would like to thank Luiz Gustavo very much for his two-and-half-years at FC Bayern.”
“With his calm but always friendly and professional character he has won many friends at our club. You could always rely on him and he had his part in winning the Treble for FC Bayern last season.”