Reported Chelsea target Luiz Gustavo has refused to rule out leaving Bayern Munich before the close of the transfer window. Jose Mourinho is claimed that Wayne Rooney is his only remaining target, yet it remains a possibility that he could still address what appears to be a need for a commanding defensive midfielder.
Luiz Gustavo, who played a key role in Brazil’s Confederations Cup triumph, could well find his playing opportunities further limited this season at club level. New Bayern manager Pep Guardiola has brought in Thiago Alcantara and Mario Gotze to add to an already stacked collection of midfielders. Indeed, German publication Bild believes that if any player is to be sacrificed from the European champions’ squad it will be the former Hoffenheim man. And Luiz Gustavo would not deny that his exit is a possibility.
“I am very happy at Bayern, but up to August 31 anything can happen,” he said, according to Bild. The 26-year-old could well be motivated by a likely need for regular action in order to hold down his place in Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side for the World Cup on home soil next year.
Chelsea will face competition should they pursue a move, however, with Wolfsburg making their interest known and Arsenal also reported to be considering n approach. The Blues are also thought to be keeping their options open. Spanish sports daily Marca claims that Mourinho has called his former charge Sami Khedira to explore whether the Real Madrid man would be interested in reuniting with him at Stamford Bridge.
Khedira could find himself in a similar situation to Luiz Gustavo with Madrid having signed Asier Illarramendi and Isco. Still, the Germany international’s particular defensive skillset is likely to see him still enjoy regular playing time at the Bernabeu. According to Marca, Madrid have denied that there have been any discussions with Chelsea about the player but didn’t not rule out his departure.
As for Mourinho’s stated focus of attention, Rooney, there is much speculation that there could soon be developments in his situation. The Daily Mail is one of the sources to claim that Rooney’s future could in large part be decided by the reaction he gets from fans during Manchester United’s two upcoming friendlies -- against AIK Stockholm in Sweden next Wednesday and then, crucially, back at Old Trafford for Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial against Sevilla three days later.
It is said that if Rooney does not encounter negative feedback from the supporters then he could tell manager David Moyes that he is happy to stay. After former boss Sir Alex Ferguson claimed that Rooney had asked to leave the club in May, the England international was booed by sections of Old Trafford when collecting his Premier League winner’s medal. Chelsea have so far had a bid of £20 million rejected for the 27-year-old, with United insisting that Rooney is not for sale.
While there continues to be speculation over David Luiz’s future, whether or not the Brazilian leaves, Chelsea could be tempted to move for a central defender. Mourinho has said that he views Branislav Ivanovic as a right-back, while it remains to be seen how many games John Terry is still capable of playing at the highest level. Spanish publication Sport, speculating about David Luiz’s future, reports that Chelsea have an interest in Porto’s Eliaquim Mangala. The France international center back was strongly linked with the Blues earlier in the summer.