Arsenal’s interest in Luis Suarez, which initially appeared to be a mere negotiating tactic to push through a move for Gonzalo Higuain, is now being interpreted as something far more genuine. It emerged that a £30 million offer from the Gunners for Suarez had been rejected by Liverpool earlier this week.
Yet, given that Suarez had insisted that he wanted to leave England and that the bid fell well below what the Merseysiders would even consider, it certainly didn’t give the impression of being a serious approach to bring the unsettled Uruguayan to the Emirates. And, with Higuain’s move continuing to be stalled by Real Madrid, the most feasible interpretation was that Arsenal were trying to give the Spanish giants a pointed nudge to get things moving.
Instead, Suarez’s comments that he was flattered by Arsenal’s interest has given the proposed transfer far more credibility. The Daily Telegraph reports that Arsene Wenger’s interest in Suarez is sincere. It is said that Suarez’s agent, Pere Guardiola -- brother of Bayern Munich manager Pep -- met with Liverpool officials on Monday and reiterated the player’s desire to leave, citing the desire for Champions League action as the decisive factor.
Goal.com has taken things a step further and claimed that Suarez has now replaced Higuain as the focus of Wenger’s attention as he tries to recruit a leading striker. To backup this interest it is reported that an improved €40.7 million (£31.7m) offer will be made to Liverpool.
Despite these developments, the likely outcome remains that a fee will eventually be agreed to take Higuain to Arsenal, with Suarez likely moving to Madrid as a replacement. The Higuain deal is already at such an advanced stage, with personal terms believed to have been agreed, while it is doubtful that Arsenal would be prepared to pay the in excess of £40 million it would take for Liverpool to, not only sell Suarez, but sell him to a Premier League rival. Suarez would also be bringing upon himself further ire from supporters and media in England were he to move to another Premier League club after stating that his desire for a move was based on a wish to leave the country.
Arsenal also remain in the hint for a defensive midfielder. And Wenger may be tempted by the idea of bringing back one of his former charges Mathieu Flamini. The Frenchman left on a free transfer to Milan five years ago and will leave the Italian giants in the same circumstances this summer after rejecting their offer of a new contract. And Flamini, 29, has revealed that he would welcome a move back to the Premier League.
“I've had some good offers but I want to take my time and decide what direction I will take," Flamini said, according to Sky Sports. "What's important is to be in a team which has a good project, good ambitions and abilities. I miss England and I want to win the Premier League. It has a special place in my heart. I like the pace and the physicality of English football, and I like that every game is very open.
With recruiting a new central defender also potentially on Wenger’s agenda, Italian publication Corriere dello Sport reports that Arsenal are one of three Premier League clubs keenly interested in Inter Milan’s Andrea Ranocchia. Inter are said to already being making contingency plans for the 25-year-old Italy international’s departure, with Manchester United and Tottenham also linked.