Despite Arsenal’s pursuit of Luis Suarez, manager Arsene Wenger has said that he is not close to making any signings and that he is prepared to wait to get the Liverpool forward. The Gunners have put in two bids for Suarez, the most recent of which met a clause in his contract for bids over £40 million, by just £1. It remains to be seen whether the triggering of the clause will allow Arsenal to meet with the Uruguayan about a transfer.
Despite bold claims being made from inside the club about their greatly increased spending power this summer, thus far the only arrival has been France Under-20 striker Yaya Sanogo on a free transfer. The club have also missed out on the signing of Gonzalo Higuain after Napoli exceeded what Arsenal were prepared to offer for the player. But Wenger has said he is far from panicking about the lack of activity.
“We are ready to do quick deals but all the transfers do not depend only on us," he said, according to the Daily Mirror. "But we are prepared to wait. It looks unlikely before the Emirates Cup [pre-season tournament next weekend]. We still have a strong squad but we are there on the market to try to strengthen our team. With or without additions we can be title challengers next season."
“What we want is not as name but as good player,” he added. “The name is less important. What is more important is the quality of the player. At the moment I must tell you we are not close to signing anybody.”
Liverpool continue to insist that they expect Suarez to be at the club next season, although the Daily Mirror claims that Arsenal are set to further test their resolve with an offer of £42.5m. That would still fall short of the £55 million Paris Saint-Germain paid for fellow-Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani, which Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has cited as a realistic barometer for Suarez’s valuation.
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While a move for Suarez drags on, it doesn’t appear that Arsenal will be signing Brazilian starlet Bernard. The 20-year-old attacking midfielder is expected to leave club side Atletico Mineiro imminently and French publication L’Equipe claimed last week that he was on the verge of a move to the Emirates. However, Bernard’s father has revealed that there has been no official approach from Arsenal and that the player is instead keen on joining Porto after advice from international teammate and former Porto forward Hulk.
“Nothing is decided yet, but we know there is an interest from Arsenal," he told O Jogo. "There has been nothing official from them. Hulk has convinced Bernard that Porto move would be better for him at this stage of his career. Porto would be a better move for his career.”
Bernard’s agent, Adriano Spadoto also revealed that Porto is his likeliest destination with Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk providing an alternative. “I will not be able to confirm anything until next Monday,” he told Mais Futebol. “I can confirm that Porto is the strongest possibility, but Shakhtar are also interested. It is between those two clubs.”
According to the Daily Mirror, Arsenal retain an interest in Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini. The powerful Belgian would appear a logical target to add some much-needed physicality to Arsenal’s midfield. Fellaini has a clause in his contract allowing him to join a club in the Champions League for £23 million until the end of July. It could be that Arsenal and reported fellow-suitors Manchester United are waiting until the expiration of that clause in the hope of then being able to negotiate a lower fee with Everton.
Meanwhile, current Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla has dismissed recent reports in Spain claiming that he was close to a return to Spain with Atletico Madrid. The Spain international arrived from Malaga only last summer and enjoyed a successful first season at the Emirates.
“There has been a lot of speculation about a move to Atletico Madrid but I'm very happy at Arsenal, I have a contract there and I start training on Monday,” he explained, according to Sky Sports. "Perhaps I will return to Spain one day, but right now it's very unlikely."
Writer's note: The article has been corrected to state that Edinson Cavani was signed by Paris Saint-Germain and not Monaco as an earlier version indicated.