Wenger woe as Napoli plot Gustavo raid to pip Arsenal

Rafa Benitez is poised to pull off a double whammy and leave Arsenal to miss out on Bayern Munich ace Luiz Gustavo.

Napoli boss Benitez is said to be in pole position to sign the Brazilian midfielder even though the player has spoken of his desire to join the Gunners.

Benitez snatched Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain from under the nose of Arsene Wenger this summer and reports suggest he could do the same with the latest Arsenal target.

Prior to Napoli’s interest was revealed, £17million-rated Gustavo said: “My contract with Bayern runs until 2015, but it is very important that I play first-team football to keep getting called up for the national team.

“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.”

Meanwhile, it appears Wenger must look elsewhere to recruit a top striker after Luis Suarez declared he is staying at Liverpool.

Suarez has been quoted in a Uruguayan newspaper saying he will not quit Anfield after all this summer, leaving the Gunners boss with diminishing options in the transfer market.

It appears that Liverpool have dug their heels in and simply refuse to sell a major asset to a team with which they will compete for a top four spot in the Premier League and the subsequent lucrative prize of Champions League football.

How Arsenal supporters must wish Wenger and Ivan Gazidis adopted such a stringent attitude this time last year when Robin Van Persie was allowed to leave the cub and almost single-handedly win the title.

Arsenal could have kept him for the remainder of his contract but faced the prospect of an unhappy player leaving on a free transfer – they chose the money.

Of course, Liverpool’s tough stance may backfire on them if Suarez’s heart isn’t in it in the new campaign.

Yet former Kop star Dietmar Hamann has urged Liverpool to go ahead and do a deal which would see Suarez switch to the Emirates.

Hamann feels sulking Suarez has sullied his relationship with the club and its fans and argues Brendan Rodgers’ outfit wouldn’t miss him.

He said: “He has disrespected the football club, and the history and the heritage of the club. I think the club will be better without him and I don’t think the team will be worse off without him. In football you need a team. One player doesn’t make a team, one player doesn’t make a football club.

“As we have seen in the past, the likes of Fernando Torres,  Kenny Dalglish,  Robbie Fowler,  Ian Rush, Michael Owen have all left and the club carried on. Most important is a good team and the man who is in charge.”

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