Henry ridicules Arsenal’s £40m bid for Suarez
American owner wonders what they are ‘smoking’ at the Emirates
Luis Suarez reacts after setting up of Liverpool’s second goal against Melbourne Victory at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images
The “What do you think they are smoking over there at Emirates” message was written on the American’s Twitter account just after 2am local time in Boston, seemingly in response to the Gunners’ offer of £40 million plus £1 for the Uruguayan.
While it may seem out of character – club officials have not yet been unable to verify it was sent by Henry himself because of the time difference to the US – it undoubtedly reflects the stance of the club, who insist Suarez is not for sale and even if he was he is valued at much more.
What do you think they're smoking over there at Emirates?— John W. Henry (@John_W_Henry) July 24, 2013
Liverpool have already rejected the bid and were planning talks with their star striker after today’s 2-0 friendly win over Melbourne Victory, where he was introduced with 18 minutes remaining and with typical brilliance set up the second for Iago Aspas with moments left on the clock. The former Celta Vigo striker tapped in from two yards to double the winning margin after Steven Gerrard had opened the scoring when sweeping home a throughball from Joe Allen in the 32nd minute.
The Uruguayan’s introduction was greeted by a deafening roar from the 95,000-strong crowd, but although he showed flashes of invention - not least when collecting Stewart Downing’s short corner, ghosting past a defender and firing a low cross on to the toe of Liverpool’s new number nine - he looked anything but happy to be there or to be the subject of such adulation.
Reports have suggested a complicated contractual clause means the player can speak to any club offering more than £40 million but the club insist that figure is not his buyout price.
When Arsenal made their first approach of £30 million over a fortnight ago they were told by Liverpool that they would not entertain selling their prize asset even for £40 million.
Manager Brendan Rodgers and managing director Ian Ayre must now attempt to persuade the 26-year-old to stay despite the player and his agent Pere Guardiola having indicated he wants Champions League football.
Suarez will not be allowed to leave the club’s tour early, with another friendly scheduled in Bangkok later this week before they return home.
Difficulties may arise, however, if Suarez and his advisors believe the £40 million figure is tantamount to a sale fee and insist he is entitled to negotiate with the Gunners over a move.