At the very least, they need to let Liverpool think that they've moved on.
The way things stand now, Liverpool and Arsenal are locked in a high-stakes game of poker. Arsenal tipped their hand early in this game by reportedly making a £30 million bid for Luis Suarez that was rejected by Liverpool.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, according to Dominic King of the Daily Mail, went to great pains to make it known his club wasn't anxious to unload its star striker simply because Suarez was unhappy.
Of course, Rodgers is also being careful not to slam the door completely shut.
Jack De Menezes of the Independent hits us with this quote from Rodgers on Suarez:
He's a player that obviously is talked about and there's been a been a lot of speculation over the course of the off-season. But the reality is that he's a player that's very much valued at Liverpool.
Unless there's any sort of offer that comes in which is anywhere near his value then there's nothing to consider and we haven't had that.
Well played, Rodgers. Well played.
Rodgers is essentially making it known that his club is all too happy to retain Suarez's services no matter what the player desires. In other words, the Reds will not deal Suarez just to get rid of him.
However, if a team were to come in and overpay for Suarez, he would not hang up the phone.
As De Menezes also points out, Arsenal are "expected to return with an improved offer."
If this is true, I am not a fan of this move. This is the moment where Arsenal have to walk away from the table and call Liverpool's bluff.
I have a hard time believing that Rodgers is thrilled about bringing back a disgruntled player with a history of self-control issues back.
Sure, Suarez is extremely talented, but there is no amount of talent that can make up for a team's most visible player setting a bad example for his teammates or setting the tone for a negative atmosphere.
If Liverpool watched the market for Suarez dry up, I have to believe they would get on the phone and call Arsenal to say, "So, about that £30 million bid for Suarez..."
Sure, Arsenal would run the risk of not attaining Suarez, but this would also free them up to aggressively explore other options. With £30 million burning a hole in their pocket, the Gunners would be able to find other talent.
One thing is clear: Arsenal need to take the power back in this negotiation, and that will only happen when they balk at Liverpool's increasing demands.
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