Arsene Wenger has dismissed the chances of returning with another bid for Liverpool forward Luis Suarez and reiterated that he has no regrets about failing to sign him last summer. Arsenal head to Anfield on Saturday to take on a Liverpool team that has been spearheaded by Suarez’s 23 Premier League goals this season. There will again be a certain sense of what might have been after Arsenal had two bids for the Uruguayan rejected last August. The second offer of £40,000,0001 was believed wrongly by Arsenal to have triggered a release clause, but instead only aggrevated Liverpool and strengthened their resolve not to sell.
“You sometimes have regrets when players who played for you score goals or do well somewhere else," Wenger said in his press conference before the Liverpool match, according to Sky Sports. "But he was never our player, it is a situation that didn't come off and that is it."
And when questioned about whether he could move for Suarez in the future, Wenger replied: "At the moment no, no.”
Suarez’s future is likely to be determined by whether Liverpool qualify for the Champions League this season, something which they are currently on course to do. Should they not and Suarez, as expected, again push for a move then he is likely to be sold outside of England, with Real Madrid mooted as a potential destination.
Still, having failed to strengthen the position in January and with Nicklas Bendtner out of at the end of the season, a new striker is sure to be on Wenger’s agenda in the summer. It could well be that interest is renewed in Schalke’s Julian Draxler, who Wenger reportedly hopes to convert into a striker, although there is likely to be greater competition for his services in the close season.
Mario Balotelli is the latest name to be thrown in the ring, with Italian publication Tuttosport first suggesting strong interest from the Emirates in the Milan front man. Metro has followed it up by citing stories from Italy connecting the fact that Balotelli is sponsored by Puma, the same company with which Arsenal just signed a bumper new kit deal, to put two and two together and likely emerge with any number other than four.
The former Manchester City star has enjoyed a strong goal-scoring return since joining Milan just over a year ago. Yet, it seems unlikely that Wenger will break with his previous record and sign a player who can often be difficult to handle both on and off the pitch.
The Daily Mail goes down a different track, claiming that Arsenal are prepared to spend big on acquiring three world-class players in the summer. A striker is said to be one of the positions Wenger is keen to reinforce, with Manchester City’s Edin Dzeko and Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa again linked.
Dzeko has long been discussed as a target for Arsenal, but, despite rarely being first choice at the Etihad, the Bosnia international has stayed put and continued to score regularly when given the opportunity. With Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo forming a lethal partnership this season, it is conceivable that Dzeko will decide his future lies elsewhere in the summer.
Costa has been linked with several of the Premier League’s big clubs on the back of a season in which he has scored 20 goals in 22 La Liga appearances. Arsenal could well have to overcome competition from Chelsea and an ever-rising price tag should they decide to pursue the Brazilian-born 25-year-old who has declared his intention to represent Spain.