Gilberto admits to Juve interest
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Gilberto has admitted he admires Juventus, but insists Arsenal will decide on his future.
Arsenal vice-captain Gilberto has admitted his admiration for Juventus, but insists any decision over his future will be entirely in the hands of The Gunners.
The Brazilian international has long been linked with a possible move to Turin in the summer as it is believed that Bianconeri coach Didier Deschamps has targeted him as a central part of his rebuilding plans.
Providing they win promotion from Serie B this season, Juve will be looking to assemble a squad capable of immediately challenging for honours in the top-flight and Gilberto's presence would give them an aura of calm in the centre of midfield.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger only recently denied speculation that Gilberto could be sold at the end of the season, and the player himself insists that the London club will have the final say over where his future lies.
However, the Italian rumour mill has hit overdrive with Gilberto's comments that the Bianconeri are an appealing proposition.
"Juventus are a great club that want to return to winning ways," Gilberto told Corriere dello Sport.
"Furthermore, it is Emerson's former club and there are many Brazilians starring in the Italian championship.
"I have a contract until 2009, and Arsenal will decide [what happens]."
Even though Gilberto has now turned 30, it remains to be seen whether Wenger would be prepared to lose another key midfielder to Juve after selling former captain Patrick Vieira to the Italian giants in the summer of 2005.
The decision could be taken out of the Frenchman's hands if Gilberto opts to invoke a Fifa regulation that could see him leave for as little as £1.7million, but the player's agent is remaining coy over talk of a summer exit.
"He likes it at Arsenal and there is a contract in place for another two years," said Paulo Villana.
"This is the current situation, but as you know anything can change in life and football is part of life."