Arsenal to raise the stakes in pursuit of Suarez
Uruguayan thought to be keen on a move to the Emirates Stadium
Liverpool’s Luis Suarez has had talks with Brendan Rodgers and club chief executive Ian Ayre.
Arsenal are preparing to raise their offer once again for the Liverpool striker Luis Suarez as they seek to capitalise on perceived tensions between the player and his employer.
Suarez held talks over his future with the Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and the chief executive Ian Ayre on Thursday. The club’s refusal to discuss how the meeting went has been interpreted by Arsenal as a positive sign for them. If Suarez had indicated any willingness to stay at Anfield, then Liverpool would have been expected to publicise it.
Arsenal’s strategy when they made their second offer for Suarez of one pound over £40 million (€46 million) on Tuesday was to put pressure on a clause in the Uruguayan’s contract, which they were led to believe would permit him to open negotiations with them and, effectively, force the player’s hand. They would love to see him agitate for the move, although a written transfer request may be too much for them to hope for.
Liverpool have refused to confirm whether Suarez asked to speak to Arsenal in the talks with Rodgers and Ayre since the Gunners’ offer was rejected. However, they remain adamant that the disputed clause in Suarez’s contract does not allow him to meet or open negotiations with Arsenal now that a bid of more than £40 million has been made.
Liverpool have not granted Suarez permission to speak to Arsenal officials. The clause in the contract he signed last August, they insist, entitles Suarez to be informed of any bid over £40 million and for Liverpool to enter into discussions over his transfer should they wish.
Arsenal are aware, though, that Liverpool will not countenance Suarez’s sale unless there is a bid of more than £50 million (€58 million). Suarez scored 30 goals in Rodgers’ debut season in charge.
Real Madrid continue to lurk in the background, and they have indicated to Suarez’s representatives that they have an interest in signing him.
Their bank balance has been boosted by the €37million that they received from Napoli for the striker Gonzalo Higuain, who was previously a target for Arsenal.
Arsenal, though, believe that they are in the driving seat for Suarez as Real are preoccupied by their pursuit of the Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale.
Meanwhile, with Manchester City so far having invested €101 million in Stevan Jovetic, Alvaro Negredo, Fernandinho and Jesus Navas, Pellegrini hinted that they could add yet to their summer influx.
The club are interested in adding a defender – Real Madrid’s Pepe is a potential target - and manager Manuel Pellegrini said: “The club has spent money on important players, like Stevan and Negredo, but we must remind you that last year here there was (Mario) Balotelli and (Carlos) Tevez, so we had to replace two very good players with another two very good players. So we have the whole month of July and some days of August to finish completely the squad. It’s not absolutely complete but it’s very near to being complete.”