Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Arsenal are still working hard to bring Liverpool’s Luis Suarez to the Emirates, but will only do so if a deal can be reached in an “amicable” way. Arsenal have so far had two bids rejected for the Uruguayan forward, with the second triggering a clause in his contract for offers worth over £40 million by just a £1. Suarez and the Gunners hoped that would allow the parties to open discussions, but Liverpool have insisted that the player is simply entitled to be informed about the bid.
Wenger does not want the situation to become acrimonious.
"I don't want to speak about Suarez, because that is between Liverpool and Arsenal,” he said at a press conference prior to this weekend’s Emirates Cup. “We will completely respect what Liverpool wants to do. We want to [sign the player] if it is feasible in an amicable way. I am a great believer that you have to keep as much confidentiality as possible, which is quite difficult in the modern world.”
With Liverpool holding out for in excess of £50 million and Arsenal unlikely to bid that high, the transfer currently depends on Suarez’s next move. The Daily Mirror claims that Suarez is still resolute in his belief that he is entitled to leave if a bid in excess of £40 million arrives, while also believing that Liverpool gave verbal assurances that they would consider bids of more than £35 million, if the Anfield club failed to qualify for the Champions League. The threat of legal action is not being ruled out.
Despite just a month of the transfer window remaining and France Under-20 striker Yaya Sanogo being the only signing, Wenger has said that he is relaxed about the situation and is actively pursuing several targets.
“We work very hard, not only on the case you name, but on other different cases,” he explained. "We want to bring something more. At the moment it doesn’t work as quickly as we wished. But I have to live with reality, it is not only like that for me, it is like that for some other managers as well. “
Arsenal have also been linked with a move for Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa, but the Brazilian forward has now been subject of a bid from Liverpool, according to widespread reports. The purported €25 million (£21.8m) offer is believed to have triggered the 24-year-old’s release clause. However, Spanish sports daily AS claims that Atletico have denied that any bid has been made.
The situation clearly has implications should Arsenal still have any interest in the player. Diego Costa is more of a second striker, and Liverpool would likely prefer to have him play alongside Suarez.
There is also interest from elsewhere in another reported target, Sporting Lisbon goalkeeper Rui Patricio. Wenger has so far been unable to tie-up a deal for Queens Park Rangers’ Julio Cesar as he looks to bring in an experienced stopper to compete with Wojciech Szczesny. Portugal international Patricio has also been linked, but Monaco are pushing hard to sign the 25-year-old.
Portuguese publication A Bola reports that the nouveau-riche Ligue 1 side are set to make a second bid of €12 million (£10.4m), although Sporting are thought to be holding out for closer to €15 million (£13.1m).