Arsenal face an even tougher battle to pry Luis Suarez from Liverpool after it emerged that the player has not sought outside assistance to his contract dispute with the Merseyside club. The Uruguayan has a clause in his deal which is triggered by a bid of over £40 million, something that the Gunners have done by just £1 as they looked to test the water. While Suarez’s camp believed that the meeting of the clause entitled him to a move, Liverpool have insisted that it simply requires the player to be informed about the bid and for negotiations to take place between the clubs at Liverpool’s discretion.
Quite why a clause that entitles Suarez to no more than a player would have in any transfer negotiation is still a bizarre mystery. It seems, though, that the 26-year-old has accepted Suarez’s interpretation with The Guardian reporting that he has not taken his case up with the Premier League. According to the story, a Liverpool source said: "We've all examined the clause in detail. All it obliges is good faith negotiations about Luis's future. There is absolutely no obligation to sell and that is very clear."
Arsenal would surely have been hoping that triggering the clause would have set a chain of events in motion that would see them securing Suarez without having to significantly increase their bid. That now looks extremely unlikely, even if Suarez were to deliver a formal transfer request. Liverpool appear set to hold out for the £55 million manager Brendan Rodgers has suggested the forward is worth and, given Arsene Wenger’s reticence to pay more than his valuation of a player, that looks unlikely to be met.
The proposed signing of Bernard also looks increasingly doubtful. Although French publication L’Equipe had claimed that a deal was all but done to take the Atletico Mineiro attacking midfielder to the Emirates, it appears that Porto and Shakhtar Donetsk are now the two clubs vying for the 20-year-old’s signature. And Arsenal are running out of time should they want to capture the Brazil international.
“Shakhtar was not an option for us in any moment,” the player’s father told MaisFutebol. “Bernard doesn't want them. It's Atletico Mineiro that are forcing it. Things have to be done this week. If Porto really want him, as it seems, then the club's president should contact Atletico Mineiro directly. Maybe this way it would make things easier and Bernard's intention would become true.”
Citing unnamed sources in Spain, the Daily Star has put a new Arsenal target forward in the form of Real Madrid’s Luka Modric. The former Tottenham midfielder struggled in his first season at the Bernabeu last campaign and he has also been linked with a return to the Premier League with Manchester United. But, while the Croatian may well be available this summer, it is difficult to see that Arsenal have a need for another playmaker of his type.
According to Spanish radio station Cadena Ser, Arsenal may be forced to fend off interest from Spain for striker Olivier Giroud. It is claimed that Valencia are targeting the France international as a replacement for Roberto Soldado, who is wanted by Tottenham. With Arsenal targeting a new striker this summer, Giroud could find his opportunities more restricted this season. Yet, it is hard to imagine him moving on this summer, especially given Valencia’s unstable finances.