Breaking Down Luiz Gustavo's Best Options with Transfer Looming
With the transfer window winding to a close, there are a few marquee names left for the taking. One player that has become available in the past week or so—or at least has verified his availability publicly—is Bayern Munich's midfielder Luiz Gustavo.
He's expected to make a decision about his future by Thursday, according to Raphael Honigstein of The Guardian:
Sky Sport News in Germany have spoken to Luiz Gustavo's agent: "He will make a statement on his future on Thursday"— raphael honigstein (@honigstein) August 13, 2013
And Gustavo has narrowed his choices down to four teams, via Honigstein:
Luiz Gustavo: @Bild say he has offers from Arsenal, Napoli, Inter - and Barcelona. (paper close to his agent)— raphael honigstein (@honigstein) August 14, 2013
Let's break down which team would be the best fit for Gustavo.
Arguably the most likely and logical choice. He would be the team's starting defensive midfielder from the start, have Champions League football and fall into a system that aligns favorably to what he plays with the Brazil national team.
That's surely important heading into the 2014 World Cup, with a spot in the midfield on the line for Gustavo.
Besides, Gustavo has already said he would like playing for Arsenal. From Fernando Duarte of The Guardian:
My contract with Bayern runs until 2015 but it is very important that I play first-team football to keep getting called up for Brazil. I am in a very delicate situation at Bayern and this needs sorting out. I have personal and professional reasons to move. I have heard about the Arsenal interest. It's a big club we're talking about here so of course I'd like to play for them.
Arsenal play a very attractive brand of football and are in the Champions League. They also have a very clever manager in Arsene Wenger. Even when Bayern beat them in the last Champions League you could see they are not pushovers.
There you have it, folks. Gustavo would have a regular place in the starting 11, already admires the club and its style of play and the Gunners have the money to make a move happen.
This is the logical destination for Gustavo.
If the Arsenal move doesn't materialize, Napoli is the next best choice. He would fit nicely in Rafa Benitez's preferred 4-2-3-1 as the defensive midfielder, Napoli has Champions League football this season and, despite losing Edinson Cavani, has improved enough to seriously challenge Juventus for a league title this season.
Essentially, Napoli in this case represents the Italian version of Arsenal, though arguably with better title odds and, as well, the possibility that a new manager, several new players and a new system will cause a few early-season growing pains for the club.
If Arsenal is the first choice for Gustavo, Napoli is a nice second option.
Inter Milan and Barcelona
Which club should Gustavo choose?
Both of these clubs don't seem like great options. Inter Milan isn't in the Champions League and likely won't be next year, either, given all of the recent turmoil there.
Meanwhile, at Barcelona his playing time would be severely limited, with Sergio Busquets and Alex Song already available.
Don't expect a move to either of these clubs to materialize.
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