Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have been dealt a blow in their bids to sign Wolfsburg midfielder Luiz Gustavo after the Brazilian expressed his delight at being linked with a move to Barcelona.
The 26-year-old joined the Bundesliga outfit from Champions League winners Bayern Munich in the summer, complaining about a lack of playing time with the treble winners. Before his move to Wolfsburg, Gustavo was linked with a move to the Emirates while Spurs were also keeping a close watch on the midfielder.
However, the Express reports that Arsenal came close to signing the midfielder in the summer and the north London sides are still monitoring the his situation after he admitted that he would be open to making a move away from the German club.
"It's always good to have your name linked to Barcelona. This is the third time there has been interest from them," Gustavo told Globo Esporte.
However, Arsenal or Spurs may yet persuade the Brazilian international to move to north London, should either club meet his release clause.
"I have a long contract which includes a buyout fee, and if anyone wants to pay that, they can sign me," Gustavo said.
Arsenal make a trip to St James' Park to face Newcastle United in the Premier League on Sunday. Magpies defender Fabricio Coloccini claims the Tyneside club's style is similar to that of the Gunners.
"We're looking forward to Arsenal, as we have a lot of confidence. The spirit is very high and the team is working hard together. That's why we're going the right way," Coloccini explained.
"Arsenal are fighting to win the league. It's good, because we have played well against big teams. We try to play a similar way - we want to play football. I think it's going to be a nice game to watch," the defender said.