There's no doubting that the Bayern Munich midfield has become a little crowded with the addition of Thiago Alcantara from Barcelona. Now, less than a week later, rumors and stories are starting to come out regarding one of our favorite Brazilians, Luiz Gustavo, is being sought after by Chelsea and Wolfsburg.
The Chelsea report comes from Talksport out of England. The report may not be the most reliable, but the fine folks over at We Ain't Got No History sure like the idea. Wolfsburg, on the other hand, have come out and confirmed their interest in the Brazilian. Kicker quotes CEO Mike Schüssler as saying, "He [Gustavo] meets all the criteria." Sporting Director Klaus Allofs followed that up with, "[We] have placed our fundamental interest., It is worth a try."
While we're going on the assumption that Pep Guardiola will be running a 4-1-4-1 formation for the upcoming season due to what the club has been paying in the preseason and what the reserves have been playing in the Regionalliga, one thing that's not guaranteed is exactly how the Spaniard will deploy the talent at his disposal. One persistent story thus far has been that Guardiola will shift Javi Martinez from midfield to central defense. With the three Confederations Cup players not returning to full training until this week, we haven't been able to see if this is really the way Guardiola plans to move forward with his team.
Many are speculating that Gustavo's place in the Bayern midfield is gone now due to the addition of Alcantara. However, as last season showed, Gustavo was an important player for Bayern throughout the entirety of the season. With 50+ potential games on the calendar for the 2013-2014 season, can Bayern afford to let Gustavo walk even for a robust transfer fee?
Bayern supporters have been quick to discount all of the rumored moves for Gustavo and rightfully so at this point. The midfielder appeared in 35 matches for Bayern during the treble winning campaign. However, like any player of his quality, Gustavo likely believes that he should be an everyday player. This is understandable, but I think Gustavo would be risking the stability that he's found at Bayern if he were to try to force a move this summer. While a move to Chelsea --- the most unlikely of the moves as of now --- would at least guarantee him Champions League games next season, that high level wouldn't be available with a Wolfsburg transfer.
Gustavo has two years remaining on his current deal with Bayern, so it would take a large transfer fee to even have FCB considering this deal. After his excellent play for Bayern last season and for Brazil in the Confederations Cup, Transfermarkt lists his value at €18 million. Depending on who you ask, this is a good/bad valuation. Long story short, hopefully Gustavo will give a season under Guardiola a shot before considering a move away from the Allianz Arena.