Arsene Wenger has not been deterred from his pursuit of Luis Suarez, despite Liverpool stating categorically that the forward won’t be sold to Arsenal. Suarez has been training alone since publicly accusing his club of breaking promises that he could discuss a transfer if a bid of over £40 million arrived. But Wenger still hopes a deal can be done cordially and has hinted that a further bid will be forthcoming from the Gunners.
"If it will be done, it will be done in a respectful and amicable way with Liverpool,” he said while in Helsinki for Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Manchester City. "I didn't read [Henry's] statements but we'll be faithful to the way we want to behave.
"To make a transfer happen, you need the agreement of three parties -- the buyer, the seller and the player. We know what we want to do. The player, if I look at the statements, [does] as well. Liverpool at the moment do not agree. If they change their minds or not, I don't know. We'll respect that.”
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has demanded that Suarez apologize in order to be reintegrated back into the first-team setup. Suarez, though, appears to have no intention of backing down as he seeks Champions League action this season.
It is clear that up front is not the only area of the Arsenal squad that needs strengthening. Wenger has admitted that the squad is a little thin and did not deny speculation that the club are in strong pursuit of Bayern Munich defensive midfielder Luiz Gustavo. The Brazil international has found himself pushed further down the pecking order at the Allianz Arena following the arrivals of Thiago Alcantara and Mario Gotze and the Champions League winners have admitted that he could depart before the close of the transfer window.
And it appears that the 26-year-old is keen on a move to the Premier League, with Arsenal thought to have jumped ahead of fellow-suitors Wolfsburg in the race for his signature. Indeed, Sky Sports reports that the Gunners have made a bid of £17.2 million for the man who joined Bayern from Hoffenheim for €17 million (£14.6m) in January 2011.
If Arsenal cannot get a deal done for Suarez then other options will also have to be hastily pursued in order to bolster their attack. Chief among those alternatives appears to be Wayne Rooney. The Daily Telegraph reports that the Gunners are now competing with Chelsea to try and pry the unsettled England international away from Manchester United.
Chelsea have so far had two bids rejected, with United continuing to insist that he is not for sale; that despite Rooney’s discontent and apparent eagerness to leave Old Trafford. While Rooney is thought to prefer a move to Stamford Bridge, The Telegraph believes that he would consider a move to the Emirates. And United could well be more amenable to selling the 27-year-old to Arsenal, if they see Wenger’s men as less of a direct threat than Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea.
Meanwhile, Arsenal could battle it out with Manchester United for the signature of Dutch youngster Jeroen Lumu, according to the Sunday People. The 18-year-old left-footer, capable of playing anywhere along the frontline but primarily from either wing, broke through into the Willem II first team last season. He is said to have been watched by both Arsenal and United and reportedly could be on the move as early as this summer.