The summer transfer period is fluid and unpredictable. While there’s always at least a small bit of truth behind every rumour, the vast majority of transfer buzz produces very few results.
Nothing could be more true in Arsenal’s pursuit of top transfer targets this summer.
Arsene Wenger has a £70 million purse to work with—and based on the volume of rumours, it seems he’s ready to spend—but nothing substantial has developed to this point.
But Real Madrid has since upped their demands. Per Mike Dawes of the Daily Mail, Los Blancos have upped their demand and Arsenal are left to regroup for another offer.
What that means for Arsenal, however, is another opportunity to test the waters with a pair of targets who may be easier to acquire.
Luis Suarez was never been rumoured to be as close to a move to the Emirates as Higuain, but his unrest at Anfield has been well-documented. It seems now Suarez is closer to an exit from Liverpool, and Arsenal are in the mix.
Per John Cross of the Daily Mirror, Liverpool are expecting Suarez to ask for his walking papers in the very near future:
Luis Suarez is ready to tell Liverpool that he wants to join Arsenal.
Liverpool are bracing themselves for Suarez to ask them to let him go when the Uruguayan striker flies from Montevideo to the club's training base in Melbourne this weekend.
Arsenal are growing increasingly hopeful they can do the deal and are likely to go back with an improved bid once they know whether Suarez reports up and the potential fall-out.
According to Cross, Arsenal could be prepared to offer the £40 million “his advisers believe is enough to allow him to leave.”
With the window for acquiring Higuain seemingly inching shut, Arsenal have an opportunity to make an even bigger splash in acquiring Suarez. Even at £40 million, the Gunners would have to feel good about what would be the biggest transfer signing in the history of the club.
But even if Wenger is ultimately unable to swing a deal for Suarez, he may have a contingency plan in place.
According to David Kent of the Daily Mail, Arsenal are prepared for that situation and may be willing to make an effort to acquire Mata should Chelsea be inclined to sell:
Arsenal are interested in signing Chelsea playmaker Juan Mata this summer.
The Spaniard's future at Stamford Bridge has been under scrutiny since Jose Mourinho's return as manager.
And Sportsmail understands the Gunners are being kept updated with regards to the former Valencia man's future with a view to launching an audacious swoop should Chelsea decide to sell.
Mata proved himself as the Blues’ second-leading Premier League scorer last term, but the presence of Eden Hazard and Mourinho’s desire to shake things up makes him a very intriguing option as a potential mover this summer.
While Dominic Fifield of The Guardian reported Mourinho isn’t willing to sell Mata—as rumoured to be the case in a potential deal for Rooney—there’s certainly reason to believe Mata could be obtained for the right price, especially if Chelsea are successful in landing Rooney.
Naturally, Arsenal probably want Suarez above all at this point, and with the Higuain situation having stalled out, that makes sense. But if Wenger is unable to make a move for the Liverpool striker and Real Madrid aren’t willing to come down on their price for Higuain, Mata may be the best remaining option.