Arsenal are prepared to bid £40 million for Luis Suarez, but Liverpool insist that it would take a mammoth offer for them to even consider selling the want-away forward. The Gunners have already had a £30 million bid knocked back, but manager Arsene Wenger has received the green light for an improved proposal that would match a clause in the Uruguayan’s contract, according to the Daily Mirror. Suarez’s camp believes the clause enable the player to leave, while Liverpool insist it merely entitles him to be informed of the offer. And Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has used the recent transfer of Edinson Cavani to Paris Saint-Germain as a guide for Suarez’s value.
“When you consider Edinson Cavani has gone for £55 million, Luis is up there in that bracket of top talent,” he said, according to ESPN. “Arsenal’s was an offer we didn’t deem worthy of the talent. There’s no guarantee Luis would be sold even for that because we are trying to build something -- we don’t have to sell. We’re prepared to spend and get people in without having to sell him. The reality is we have had one offer. So there can be as much speculation as you like, there’s been nothing beyond that.”
Suarez is now reported to be Wenger’s top transfer target to boost his attack, ahead of Gonzalo Higuain and Wayne Rooney. Still, the Daily Mail believes there could be further additions and claims that Arsenal are interested in Chelsea attacking midfielder Juan Mata. The speculation certainly comes out of the blue, although the Gunners were firmly in the hunt for the Spanish World Cup and European Championship winner before he moved to Stamford Bridge from Valencia in 2011.
There have also been reports that Mata is not a favorite of new Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, with even the suggestion that the 25-year-old was offered as a makeweight to try and sign Wayne Rooney. Certainly Mata does not have the pace and power that Mourinho normally favors in his offensive players, however, it would still be a huge statement to dispense with the club’s Player of the Year for the past two seasons.
Mata is not the only attacking midfielder linked, with the Daily Star suggesting that Arsenal are interested in young Brazilian Bernard. The pocket-sized 20-year-old, after taking part in the Confederations Cup, is now preparing for the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final next week when his Atletico Mineiro side will have to overcome a 2-0 deficit against Paraguay’s Olimpia. Bernard has hinted that he could subsequently be on his way to Europe. With a release clause of around £20 million, the player has also been linked to Tottenham and Liverpool.
Several players have already departed the Emirates this summer, with more set to follow, but right-back Bacary Sagna is not intending to be one of them. There had been a strong suspicion that the France international would be on his way as he enters the final year of his contract. Arsenal have offered the 30-year-old just a one-year extension while Sagna wants a longer deal. But the player, who has recovered from two broken legs in the past two years, has explained that he is looking forward to the upcoming campaign.
“I enjoy playing for Arsenal," he told The Guardian. "I love my team, and I always give my best. I'm still here. Many people were talking about me going back to France but I'm still here and I'm looking forward to a big season with Arsenal.
"Last season was difficult. I only had one year left and people were looking at that and maybe thinking I would leave. But I tried to stay as calm as I could. Now I will work hard in pre-season and have a good season for Arsenal."