Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has explained how the club came to accept that there was no way of prizing Luis Suarez away from Liverpool this summer. The forward was the subject of a £40,000,001 bid from the Gunners, which they hoped would trigger a clause in his contract. But that proved not to be the case and, in a rare interview, Kroenke explained that Liverpool were steadfast in their resolve not to sell the Uruguayan.
“Look, Arsene [Wenger] had a view, our team had a view, they had a view and their view was, he wasn’t going anywhere,” Kroenke told the Daily Telegraph.
“I never saw them waver from it. I guess at some level there is a number that gets anybody out of anywhere but there was nothing within the realm of what we knew about that could have got him out of there.
“There were people saying if he left there was nothing left. If people believe that, if those players believed that and [Liverpool owner] John [Henry] thought they believed that, then that is a real problem.”
Given that Arsenal failed to sign the established striker they sought over the summer, they may have had, and indeed may still have, desires to lure Suarez away in January or next summer. Yet the player appears to be patching up his relationship with Liverpool after a summer of trying to extricate himself from the club. Following Suarez’s first appearance since a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre explained plans to open talks with the 26-year-old over a new contract at the end of the season.
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It was also widely reported that Wenger was keen on bringing Lyon’s Clement Grenier to the Emirates during the summer transfer window. Wenger has revealed his admiration for the player, but, according to the France international, Arsenal had an offer rejected for his services. The attacking midfielder subsequently signed a new contract and states that he is happy with how things turned out.
"I don't have any regrets about extending my contract, quite the contrary," he told RMC Radio. "I'm still learning. I hope that we're going to have a good season."
There have been long-standing rumors that another attacking midfielder at Lyon, Yoann Gourcuff would wind up at Arsenal. And speculation has resurfaced, with the Daily Star, citing stories in France, reporting that there could be a breakdown in contract negotiations between Lyon and the former Milan and Bordeaux man.
It is said that Lyon are eager to sign the 27-year-old to a new contract that would see his current wages slashed, but, understandably, Gourcuff is non-too happy. A January transfer is mooted.
An unlikely name has been linked to Arsenal in recent days. The Daily Mail has seized on some uncertainty about Andrea Pirlo’s future and claimed that Arsenal are one of the clubs that could pounce if the World Cup winner fails to agree a new contract to stay at Juventus beyond this season.
Aged 34, there has been speculation of Pirlo’s importance to Juventus fading, especially with the emergence of former Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba -- a player Arsenal reportedly made an unsuccessful approach for this summer.
Juventus director general Beppe Marotta this week revealed that contract talks had been put on hold until next February or March. The Daily Mail even suggests the somewhat unlikely scenario that Pirlo could leave the Italian champions in January.