Arsenal Transfer News: Arsene Wenger Confirms He Still Wants To Sign Luis Suarez
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has confirmed he still wants to sign Liverpool's star striker Luis Suarez. The Gunners chief has yet to make a significant signing during this tansfer window and many are concerned the Frenchman is willing to risk entering the new season with his current squad.
But the bold words about Suarez will encourage some of the doubters. Speaking before the start of The Emirates Cup pre-season tournament, The London Evening Standard reports that Wenger had this to say about Arsenal's pursuit of Suarez:
"I don't want to speak about Suarez, because that is between Liverpool and Arsenal. We will completely respect what Liverpool wants to do. We want to (sign the player) if it is feasible in an amicable way," Wenger said.
The Gunners chief appeared to be backing away from any mega-money deals, after proclaiming his existing squad is strong enough to mount a title challenge. According to Arseblog News, Wenger appeared to brazenly tout the quality of his current players as a reason for Arsenal's sluggish activity in the market so far:
"We want to spend if it strengthens our team. Spending the money is not a quality. It has to be the right players.
"If you can give me names who are better than the players we have compared to the players we have, I am ready to talk about it."
Those words would likely have riled fans clamouring for major investment from a club that boasted of increased financial power at the start of the summer. But as much as these quotes appear to be in opposition to one another, they could well be connected.
Wenger's thinly-veiled appeal for patience and caution could be a way of mitigating any fall out if Arsenal fail to reach an agreement for Suarez. After all, any deal to land the Uruguayan ace is likely to be a complex and lenghty one.
The bitter dispute over the clause in the player's contract, supposedly triggered by bids of £40 million or more, continues. John Cross of The Daily Mirror contends that Suarez may not have abandoned the idea of pursuing legal remedy to Liverpool's apparent refusal to let him talk terms with the Gunners.
The Anfield club have rebuffed Arsenal's previous offer of £40 million plus £1 and insist it entitles Suarez and Arsenal to nothing. Speaking of that £40 million plus £1 bid, the anger that drew from Liverpool could be another reason for Wenger's choice of words.
His emphasis on an "amicable" conclusion reads like an attempt to build bridges and mend fences ahead of what could be a very ugly battle to either sign or keep Suarez. Wenger's insistence that his current group is strong enough, even without signings, a statement that almost defies belief considering they finished 16 points off the pace last term, also seems like a message to those on Merseyside.
Wenger is making it clear that as much Arsenal want Suarez and perhaps need him, they will have a limit in the negotiations and will not be bullied into exceeding it. In other words, the Gunners won't be forced into paying the £55 million Liverpool are reportedly demanding.
Behind all of this double speak, the pressure is building on the three parties involved in this transfer saga. Liverpool will know there is little point in keeping an unhappy player who wants to move. Suarez will also know that he has bet big on his move to a Champions League club and his career could stutter if he loses that bet.
As for Wenger and Arsenal, there is real pressure on them to make a statement in the market, and prove they are willing to pay the price to sign the marquee talent the squad really needs to be genuine trophy contenders.
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