Arsene Wenger admits that he still dreams about having Luis Suarez at Arsenal. The Gunners made two failed bids for the Liverpool forward this summer, the second of which they believed triggered a release clause in his Anfield contract. That proved not to be the case, with Liverpool stating that there was no way their star man would be sold to a rival for a Champions League place.
Despite openly stating his desire to leave Liverpool in the summer, the Uruguayan has been in terrific form for the Reds this season. Suarez currently leads the Premier League scoring charts, despite missing the first five games through suspension, and was even made captain for Liverpool in the 5-0 hammering of Tottenham on Sunday. Wenger remains effusive in his praise for the 26-year-old.
"I think that every defender in England hates playing against him," he told French TV show Telefoot.
"He has a strong, provocative personality. From the information I gathered on him it appears that on a day-to-day level he is really easy to work with. Also that he's respectful, he loves training, he's an angel. He turns into a demon when he's on the pitch.
"We all dream about having players like that."
There appears little prospect of that dream coming true for Wenger. With Liverpool currently sitting second in the Premier League, there is a very real prospect of them returning to the Champions League next season and that may be enough to convince Suarez to stay beyond the summer. Even if he does push for a transfer, Liverpool will doubtless only allow him to depart for a team outside of England, where there are sure to be many suitors.
Meanwhile, the future of Arsenal right-back Bacary Sagna remains in doubt. With his contract set to expire next summer, the 30-year-old admits that he is keeping his options open.
"I would love to win trophies with this club, it's a club I love so much but something is missing,” he told beIN Sport, according to Sky Sports.
"I've still got six months on my contract with Arsenal. We are in negotiations. It's an option to go somewhere in January but I always had a good relationship with Arsenal.
"I've been playing there for seven years and I hope we will end up on something good. First of all I want to finish as champion because we have got a good opportunity to do it this year, and after we will see."
There are reports that Arsenal want to add to their defensive options in January. According to the Daily Mirror, Wenger will compete with Chelsea to try and land St Etienne center-back Kurt Zouma. Winner of the Under-20 World Cup with France this summer, Zouma has been highly tipped for some time and has previously been strongly linked with Manchester United. His season has been halted, though, after receiving a 10-match ban last month following a tackle which broke the leg of Sochaux’s Thomas Guerbert.
One deal that appears increasingly likely to go through is the signing of Barcelona youngster Toni Sanabria. The 17-year-old could well become the latest product of La Masia to join Arsenal, following in the footsteps of the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Fran Merida and Jon Toral, with his agent confirming that discussions are underway.
“Our contacts with Arsenal are advanced and I expect a solution in the next week,” Raul Verdu said last week, according to the Daily Mirror.