Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Gilberto will miss the start of the coming season as he recovers from his Copa America exertions.

The holding midfielder played a key role in Brazil's success in Venezuela - even though he missed the final win over Argentina due to suspension - and has been granted a three-week break by Wenger after a gruelling campaign.

As such, Gilberto is due to return to North London just five days before The Gunners' opening game of the Premier League season at home to Fulham on August 12th.

Having had little in the way of pre-season conditioning, Wenger is unwilling to throw his second-longest serving player into the breach immediately.

"He will miss the start of the season," confirmed Wenger. "He is on a three-week holiday and will be back with us on August 7th."