According to Chris Bascombe of The Telegraph, the Gunners made a formal offer to Liverpool last week, only to see their approach “immediately rebuffed.”
The news comes as a particular surprise given that Arsenal have primarily been linked with two other high-profile strikers throughout the summer. The Daily Mail has reported that the Gunners hold in interest in both Real Madrid’s Gonzalo Higuain and Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney.
This bid for Suarez is a bolt from the blue.
There’s no doubting the Uruguayan's ability. He probably enjoyed the best 2012/13 of the trio, scoring 23 Premier League goals and finishing second in the voting for PFA Player of the Player.
According to Squawka, Suarez created more Premier League chances (89) than any single one of Arsenal’s forwards last season.
He is, on paper, the mobile and versatile attacker that Arsenal need to complement their fluid system.
However, Suarez would arrive with substantial baggage. In 2011 he was banned for eight games for racially abusing Patrice Evra. Suarez insisted he was hard done by, but the damage to his public image was irreparable.
His latest indiscretion was the bizarre biting incident with Branislav Ivanovic in April of this year. The 10-match ban he picked up for taking a chunk out of Ivanovic’s arm will see him miss the first six domestic games of next season.
The sight of a figure as combustible and controversial as Suarez in an Arsenal shirt would divide the Emirates Stadium fans. There are those who would find it unpalatable, and others who would be prepared to sacrifice their principles in order to harness Suarez’s unique goalscoring ability.
However, it is surprising to see a man as ethical as Arsene Wenger pursue a player with a past as chequered as Suarez.
Who should Arsenal sign?
Perhaps there is more to this bid than meets the eye. Real Madrid’s interest in Suarez has been reported by The Mirror; perhaps Arsenal are merely flexing their financial muscles in order to coax Madrid into selling the Gunners their primary target, Gonzalo Higuain.
Higuain would be cheaper than Suarez and doesn’t carry controversy with him.
Alternatively, maybe Wenger really does want Suarez.
He’s already indicated a willingness to spend big this summer, which represents a compromise on some of his fabled principles. Perhaps, in his desire to bring glory back to Arsenal, he is now prepared to waive his stringent background checks and sign a player who would undoubtedly be the Gunners’ loosest cannon.
If Arsenal do want Suarez, they’ll need to increase their bid significantly. Liverpool spent more than £30 million on Andy Carroll. They won’t consider accepting such a low offer for a player of Suarez’s unquestionable calibre.