July 31, 2013
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All jokes aside, the pursuit of Suarez remains one of the summer's biggest stories, and manager Arsene Wenger and company would be wise to wrap up the move as quickly as possible, if possible.
We'll get to that. But first, we have to address the rumour that Wenger is willing to play chicken and wait Liverpool out after making a lucrative offer.
From John Cross of the Mirror:
Arsene Wenger is determined not to raise Arsenal’s £40m bid for Luis Suarez—even if it means the transfer going to the wire. The whole deal hinges on the £40m clause in Suarez’s contract with the Uruguayan’s advisers adamant that it allows him to leave Liverpool.
Suarez is keen on Arsenal and wants to speak to them about a potential transfer but it is believed he still harbours hopes that Real Madrid will come in despite their declaration that they are not interested.
Arsenal have been made aware of the clause and the deal is now at standstill—and it could go right to the end of the transfer window with the two clubs set for a major squabble. Liverpool are adamant that they will not sell to Arsenal and the clause only means they are obliged to inform Suarez that an offer has been made.
As you might have guessed, there are conflicting reports in this ongoing transfer saga. This is the silly season, after all. James Dickenson of the Express writes that Wenger actually wants to wrap this up sooner rather than later:
Suarez is thought to prefer a switch abroad to the Bernabeu, but with no firm interest from the Spanish giants Arsenal are set to make a third bid of £42.5million.
Liverpool were outraged at the Gunners last offer of £40,000,00—made to test a £40m clause in the marksman's contract—after opening the bidding at £30m.
While Express Sport understands that Anfield chiefs will only sanction Suarez's departure for £50m-plus, Wenger is hopeful of tying up a cheaper deal soon.
There is one key thread here shared between these two rumours—Real Madrid. The possibility that Real Madrid could swoop in and land Luis Suarez rather than Arsenal should prompt Wenger to act quickly, not stall in a negotiating ploy.
Let's start from a logical standpoint. If you were Liverpool, wouldn't you prefer dealing Suarez to a non-Premier League rival? Wouldn't you rather get him out of England if you couldn't keep him yourself?
Of course you would.
And much as I love the Gunners, don't you think—given his choice—that Suarez would probably choose Real Madrid over Arsenal, as is rumoured? The Gunners are an excellent, consistent side, but Real Madrid is one of the biggest, richest and most successful clubs in the world. Few teams stack up to Los Blancos.
But Arsenal is holding a trump card in that regard—Gareth Bale. Well, it isn't really holding the card, seeing as Bale is a member of its rival, Tottenham, but Real Madrid's preoccupation with Bale, per Ben Lyttleton of Sport Illustrated, means that Arsenal is likely the only serious suitor for Suarez at the moment.
And that's valuable. That means there isn't really a bidding war at the moment. That means the Gunners don't have to worry about Liverpool selling Suarez to Real Madrid for a cheaper price than it would to Arsenal if only to keep its star from a league rival.
As long as Real Madrid thinks it has a chance to land Bale, Suarez will remain on the back burner. And that means the time for Arsenal to strike is now.
Might that mean Wenger has to spend more than he's comfortable spending?
Yes. Does it mean the club must convince Suarez to push forward a formal transfer request and make it known he only wants to join Arsenal?
Will both of those things be difficult for Wenger to do, one hurting his financial sensibilities and the other requiring him to convince Suarez to push all of his chips into Arsenal's corner?
Yes and yes.
But now is the moment to strike. If Real Madrid seriously gets back into the Suarez bidding, Arsenal is all but out of the running.
It's possible Real Madrid isn't even interested in Suarez. It could be that Liverpool is leaking any possible interest to gain leverage over Arsenal, or Suarez's people are doing so because Los Blancos are actually the player's first choice.
But this much is certain—Arsenal may very well land Suarez if it holds out and Liverpool eventually realizes keeping the player won't be good business. But it's just as likely that Real Madrid could enter the mix and steal Suarez away.
For that reason, acting sooner rather than later seems to be the smart bet in this never-ending saga.
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