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The Beautiful Game is a sport which brings together people of all castes and creeds, from all the corners of the world, to cheer for their beloved teams. And with European football being amongst the most glamorous in the world, the finals of its top tier competition – the Champions League – is certainly considered a sporting bonanza, probably surpassed only by the final of the FIFA World Cup.

The competition was started in the year 1955, known by the name European Champion Clubs' Cup, or simply the European Cup, until it was rebranded as the UEFA Champions League in 1992.

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According to TalkSport, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger had a discussion with Laurent Koscielny’s representatives this week regarding a contract extension in a bid to ward off growing interests from other clubs.

Koscielny’s performances so far this season have earned him glowing accolades, along with admiration from a number of clubs all over Europe, with the names of Bayern Munich and Monaco, shining the brightest on the list. And Wenger had reportedly identified that providing a new contract might be a strategy to protect the former Lorient man.

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Arsenal are looking at Bayern Munich and Brazil midfielder Luiz Gustavo as a potential target, reports the Metro.

With manager Arsene Wenger determined to make a host of signings this summer in order to challenge for top spot, Bayern Munich's utility man Gustavo has emerged as a possible target for the Gunners, who are in the market for a defensive midfielder of the 25 year old's mould.

The versatile Gustavo can also fill in at central defence or a full back position, which means that the Brazilian could prove to be a shrewd signing for the Premier League side.

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arjen_robben Arjen Robben cost Bayern Munich the 2012 UEFA Champions League final by missing a penalty in extra time against Chelsea last season. The Dutchman has had to bear the burden of that miss for a whole year, and faced the brunt of the fans' ire as they questioned his commitment to the cause. The Dutch winger finally put that cross to rest as he picked up an assist and the winning goal in an exceptionally entertaining final as Bayern ended up deserved victors 2-1 on the night against local rivals Borussia Dortmund.

Dortmund though have every reason to feel aggrieved with the referee, who decided to keep the game 11-vs-11 as he choose not to book Brazilian defender Dante when he conceded a penalty in the 69th minute with the center back already carrying a yellow card. Bayern though were too busy celebrating their 5th European Cup to care, joining Liverpool as the third most successful side in European football history.

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Pep Guardiola has been planning out his transfer strategy even before getting the job and the Spaniard is understood to want Arsenal centre-back Laurent Koscielny at the Bavarian club next season. The Frenchman has been a mainstay of Arsene Wenger’s team this season and the Gunners boss would expect at least £20 million for the defender, but that is unlikely to put off Guardiola who will have a massive transfer kitty at his disposal.

Koscielny has been with Arsenal since 2010 although Wenger has adopted a periodic rotation policy between him, Thomas Vermaelen and Per Mertesacker this season. Bayern could use that to their advantage as they seek to find a new player to account for the summer exit of Daniel van Buyten on a free transfer.

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Barcelona’s aura of invincibility has gradually been torn down over the last 12 months and at the magnificent Allianz Arena last night Bayern Munich shattered any remaining crumbs. The Champions League semi-final 1st leg between the two European powerhouses was one-sided as they get as a ruthless Bayern dispatched Barca 4-0 to all but seal a place in the final at Wembley. Thomas Muller was the star of the show as he grabbed a brace while Arjen Robben and Mario Gomez added the other strikes to ground the Spanish Champions-elect, who suffered their worst defeat in the competition in 16 years. The 2nd leg in a week's time will be a dead rubber in all likelihood as no team has ever recovered from a four-goal 1st leg deficit in the competition before.

Jupp Heynckes had his best eleven out on the pitch, leading the attack with Mario Gomez who received support from Muller, Robben and Frank Ribery. The formidable midfield pair of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez were more than a match for Barca’s pass-masters while Dante was a giant in the back-four alongside Philip Lahm, Jerome Boateng and David Alaba.

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Arsenal’s hopes of a Champions League revival and fourth place chase in the Premier League have been dealt a severe blow as midfield star Jack Wilshere is sidelined for three weeks due to an ankle injury. The Englishman will miss games against Bayern Munich and Swansea this week and is unlikely to be available for England when they play San Marino and Montenegro later this month.

Wilshere has been Arsenal’s most in-form player this season, after returning from a long-term ankle injury just last October. The 21 year-old has injured his other ankle this time around and the Gunners will sorely miss the youngster’s energy when they aim to mount a sensational comeback against Bayern this Wednesday.

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