Arsenal have raised the stakes in their battle to try and pry Luis Suarez away from Liverpool with a bid of £40 million plus £1 to trigger a clause in the Uruguayan’s contract. However, Liverpool remain adamant that the player will not be going anywhere. The clause which Arsenal have activated, by a solitary pound, merely requires Liverpool to inform the player of the bid, insist the Anfield club.
Having previously had a £30 million bid rejected, Arsenal appear to be of the belief that their latest offer could encourage Suarez to demand talks with them and potentially force through a move. But that will not come easy. Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers believes that Suarez is every bit as good as his international teammate Edinson Cavani, who earlier this month signed for Paris Saint-Germain for £55 million, and has suggested that it will take a similar transfer fee for a sale to be considered. Suarez was in action for Liverpool in their pre-season friendly against Melbourne Victory on Wednesday and afterward Rodgers confirmed that the club’s stance has not changed.
"He's been surrounded by speculation," he said, according to The Guardian, "but he's very much a Liverpool player and over the course of the next number of weeks we've got to get him up to speed and have him fit and raring to go for the beginning of the season."
While their latest offer represents a statement of intent on Arsenal’s part, it seems highly unlikely that they will approach a figure that Liverpool would deem acceptable at this stage. The ball is now in Suarez’s court to increase the pressure on his employees if he is desperate to get away, as he has suggested.
Suarez is far from the only forward that Arsenal have pursued this summer, but currently appears to be their leading target. With the club having failed to agree a fee with Real Madrid, Gonzalo Higuain has now completed his move to Napoli for a reported €40 million (£34.5m). The Gunners are still in the running to sign Wayne Rooney, however, according to the Daily Mail.
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Arsene Wenger has made his interest in the unsettled Manchester United man clear, while the club has also insisted that his wages of a reported £250,000 a week would not be a stumbling block. Although Chelsea are currently frontrunners to sign the 27-year-old, having already had a bid rejected, the Mail believes that Rooney would be open to a move to Arsenal should a transfer to Stamford Bridge not materialize.
In recent days, Arsenal have also been suggested as one of the clubs trailing Benfica winger Eduardo Salvio. According to Portuguese publication A Bola, the Argentinian will not come cheap with the Lisbon giants placing a €40 million (£34.4m) valuation on his head. The 23-year-old, who initially joined Benfica on loan from Atletico Madrid before making the move permanent last summer, is also said to be interesting Manchester City and Tottenham.
Luiz Gustavo is another player to have been linked to Arsenal of late, but it appears the Bayern Munich midfielder will be staying put for the coming season. The fact that new manager Pep Guardiola had further increased his midfield options with the signing of Thiago Alcantara understandably led to suggestions that the Brazil international could be on his way. But the 26-year-old claims he has no such thoughts.
"I am under contract with the club and I want to fulfill that commitment,” he said, according to Sky Sports. "I have been in a position to fight for a first team role throughout my career. I will keep on fighting this year, too.”