Luis Suarez is an ideal target for Arsenal. Whether the Gunners will be able to lure the superstar away from Liverpool remains a major question mark, but they are doing the right thing by testing the resolve of their Premier League rivals.
John Cross of the Daily Mirror reports Arsenal are preparing a £40 million offer for the striker. The huge bid would put a lot of pressure on Reds manager Brendan Rodgers, who's struggled to figure out the right course of action to end the saga.
Kop boss Brendan Rodgers is adamant they will not sell Suarez as they also brace themselves for a bid from Real Madrid who only value the Uruguayan at £25 million.
Arsenal believe Suarez, who returned to pre-season training with Liverpool yesterday, is keen as they can offer Champions League football and they remain hopeful.
Rodgers has stated Liverpool are going to control the situation, regardless of the outcome. He said as much in comments passed along by Alex Young of Goal.com. But if clubs like Arsenal continue to make improved offers, that will become a tougher task.
"This is something we will control," Rodgers told reporters. "This situation will not be controlled by the player. I am very strong on the values of the club, where we are and how we operate.
"Football and society is different nowadays, the [transfer] market is totally different and players can create different ways to open it up.
"But I have always said that there is no player bigger than Liverpool and that is something we are very strong on."
By maintaining their pursuit of Suarez, Arsenal are accomplishing two things.
First, the Gunners are putting themselves in serious contention to land the striker they've needed to lead their attack. They feature a lot of talented players already, but Suarez could really take the team's offense to an entirely different level with his finishing ability.
Players of Suarez's caliber don't come cheap. That's why the latest talk surrounds a potential £40 million offer. But Arsenal know he could shift the balance of power in the Premier League, and that's worth the extremely large investment.
Secondly, they are making Liverpool worry about the Suarez saga instead of focusing solely on upgrading the squad. And if the Gunners can do anything to keep Liverpool from getting back in Champions League contention, they should do it.
The appeal of Suarez is obvious. He finished second in the Premier League last season with 23 goals, three off the league-leading pace set by Robin van Persie. Having a player with his goalscoring track record leading the attack would be a huge step for Arsenal.
As the Daily Mirror report states, they have also tried to land Gonzalo Higuain from Real Madrid. He's another player who would fit perfectly in the lead striker role with a talented supporting cast, highlighted by Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla, backing him up.
That said, Suarez should serve as the main target until it becomes clear landing him isn't possible—not only because he's established himself in the Premier League, but also due to the fact the Gunners would be taking a key piece away from a possible Champions League threat.
The more pressure Liverpool face, the tougher it will become for the Reds to keep Suarez, especially if the striker is pushing for a deal behind the scenes. Gunners manager Arsene Wenger has been through enough high-profile transfer sagas to understand that. Rodgers is still gaining that experience.
So Arsenal should maintain their pursuit of Suarez. It's still unclear what the end game will be in the ongoing saga, but a £40 million offer would be a massive statement.
In a perfect world, Liverpool will eventually decide to sell, and the Gunners will acquire a major piece for what they hope becomes a championship puzzle.
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