Arsenal have missed out on yet another transfer target this summer. Bayern Munich defensive midfielder Luis Gustavo, who has been heavily linked with a move to London, has instead transferred to German team Wolfsburg.
The Brazil international is desperate for more playing time ahead of the World Cup. With Bayern having Javi Martines, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos, Thiago Alcantara and Mario Gotze in the midfield, Gustavo thought his opportunities to be limited. The player has signed a five-year contract with the German team and transferred for a figure believed to be around £17 million.
With Arsene Wenger yet to make a significant signing this summer, Arsenal fans heralded Gustavo as a prudent solution to the team's problems in midfield. Now, like Gonzalo Higuain and Luis Suarez, Wenger is set to miss out on another target because of reluctance to over pay.
The situation has been further complicated by injury to Mikel Arteta. The Spaniard will be missing for up to six weeks with a thigh injury. Arsenal's midfield options will be very scarce in the first half of the season if they do not invest in it.
Wenger, for his part, insists the signings will arrive.
"We are active," Wenger was quoted as saying on ESPN. "We are in a situation like Manchester United, like Chelsea, where everybody expects signings and at the moment not a lot has happened."
"There are 18 days to go, so that is a long time in the transfer market and we will be active," he continued. "I cannot certify what the number [of players will be], but we will be active until the end, that is for sure."
With regards to the release of Gervinho from the squad, Wenger was keen to give the player a new challenge and the chance to regain his form. The Ivory Coast international was sold to Roma for £8 million.
"I made that decision because [Gervinho] looked to play with a lack of confidence, especially at the Emirates," Wenger said.
"He is a very creative player, an instinctive dribbler and for that you need a lot of confidence to be completely efficient," he added. "I felt that in the last six months it was very difficult for him to express his talent in a confident way."