Arsenal have had a club-record £30million bid for Luis Suarez rejected by Liverpool, according to reports.
The striker wants to quit the Premier League, citing what he deems as his poor treatment at the hand of the media in this country.
That still hasn’t stopped the Gunners lodging an audacious bid to lure the Uruguayan south to London, while there is also interest from Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea.
It is believed Suarez has a £40m release clause in his contract, although the Reds would prefer to hang onto the 26-year-old, with his quality and goals still perceived to outweigh his propensity to engineer trouble for himself and the club.
Suarez’s last brush with controversy came in April when he bit Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic. He still has six games to serve of a ten-match Football Association ban for the incident.
The Gunners’ bid for Suarez is the latest development in what is proving to be a refreshingly busy transfer period for Arsenal fans.
So far, though, just striker Yaya Sanogo has arrived from Auxerre, with a £23m move for Real Madrid forward Gonzalo Higuain still in the balance.
Arsenal are in advanced talks with Higuain but sources in Madrid claim new Bernabeu boss Carlo Ancelotti could yet elect to hang onto the Argentina international.
Arsenal rebuffed after audacious £30m offer for Liverpool striker Luis Suárez
Arsenal have had a formal bid of around £30 million for Liverpool striker Luis Suárez rejected.
In one of the most audacious moves of the summer so far, Arsenal representatives made a direct approach to the Merseyside club for Suárez last week and were immediately rebuffed.
Liverpool insist that the South American is not for sale, and the Arsenal valuation – believed to be less than the £35 million fee Merseyside club paid for Andy Carroll two years ago – has taken many by surprise.
Liverpool have been braced for such approaches since the end of last season, although it was expected that Real Madrid would lead the chase particularly given the player’s claims of unhappiness in English football.
Arsenal felt suitably encouraged to contact Anfield officials to register their desire to buy the 26-year-old Uruguayan. It has now emerged that it went beyond an inquiry, and although neither club is prepared to comment on the discussions or clarify the precise amount offered it is clear it was unacceptable to Liverpool.
Liverpool have never wavered from their position that they would not welcome any bid for Suárez, despite his recent proclamations desiring a move abroad.
There is certainly a sense of opportunism and extreme optimism about the Arsenal move given the primary reason Suárez has offered for leaving Anfield is to escape the English media.
Although there is inevitable upset on Merseyside that he began to talk openly about feeling disillusioned in the Premier League as soon as he joined his international squad, his sentiments were not surprising.
Liverpool knew how upset the player was and how mistreated he felt at the hands of the Football Association when he was banned for 10 games for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic.
Although Liverpool are still determined to resist his sale and will do everything to try to get him to have one a final year to assist in their top-four efforts, when the dust settled most supporters can sympathise with his wish for Champions League football if he moves to the Bernabéu.
A move to another English club would be unpalatable, however, and contradict every statement the player has made to justify a possible departure.
It should be stated that Liverpool have been given no indication by Suárez or his representatives that he is interested in joining Arsenal or any other English club.
Even before his most recent controversy the Merseysiders recognised Real Madrid and Barcelona as the only clubs with the potential to prompt Suárez to ask for a transfer. That is something he will have to do if he is to leave, although Liverpool could still reject a formal transfer request.
It remains to be seen if Arsenal plan to improve their offer. If they increase a bid to £40 million, Suárez could seek permission to speak to Arsène Wenger. The conspiracy theory might suggest Arsenal made their move to nudge Real Madrid, who have been focusing on Suárez, into completing negotiations with the London club for Gonzalo Higuaín.
It may be no coincidence that in the days since Arsenal’s bid for Suárez, Higuaín’s move to London has edged closer. Their bid also explains why there was a flurry of bets on Suárez joining Arsenal last week, prompting some bookmakers to suspend the betting.
Chelsea are also believed to be pondering a move for Suárez. That is even more distressing to the Merseyside club than the notion of his heading to the Emirates Stadium. After taking the last Liverpool icon, Fernando Torres, from Anfield the idea of Jose Mourinho doing the same with the much more dynamic Suárez revives painful memories.
It is, however, a reflection on how other English clubs perceive Liverpool. For as long as they are struggling in seventh position, the top four believe the best Anfield players can be lured for the right price.
It demonstrates why the season ahead is so critical in restoring Liverpool’s European status. Brendan Rodgers already fears his prime transfer target, Armenian Henrikh Mkhitaryan, has slipped from his grasp because the club can not offer European football.
Suárez is on extended leave and is not due to return to Merseyside until the end of the month. Technically, he should be back at Liverpool for the second leg of their Far East tour, but the club may be relaxed as to whether he joins the squad at that stage because he will not be available at the start of the season due to his ban.
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