Although they are technically running short on time with respect to the current transfer window, Arsenal must do everything in their power to see that Luis Suarez starts the upcoming Premier League season in a Fly Emirates jersey.
By any means necessary.
Much has been made of the wantaway striker's desire to exit Anfield for greener pastures. After an EPL season in which he scored 23 goals for Liverpool, Suarez hasn't been shy—both on and off the pitch—about his desire to compete in the upper echelon of European football this year.
Since the Reds finished seventh in the league table last year, that won't be a possibility unless he transfers elsewhere.
According to BBC Sport, Suarez is prepared to seek legal action to force Liverpool's hand in granting him a transfer.
Arsenal has already lodged two official bids for the Uruguayan star. The first (£35 million) was promptly rejected by the Merseyside club, while the second (£40 million and one pound) has been the subject of much controversy since it was submitted by the Gunners.
Per the report, Liverpool and Suarez are at odds over a release clause in the striker's contract. Arsenal smartly lodged the specific bid because they thought it triggered a release where Suarez could be granted a request to move to that club.
Here's an excerpt from BBC Sport addressing that theory:
It is understood that when Suarez signed a new contract in August 2012, he requested a clause that allowed him to depart if Liverpool failed to qualify for the Champions League and received a bid in excess of £40m.
Liverpool refused this but suggested an arrangement that obliged them to act in good faith if those conditions were met, which Suarez argues he only accepted because he felt there was verbal agreement from all parties that - despite the new wording - it would work in the same way as a release clause.
If Liverpool fails to grant him the transfer, Suarez could take his contract dispute to the Court of Arbitration for Sport—he made a similar move in 2007 when Groningen turned down a bid from Ajax.
Arsene Wenger and the Gunners have to be licking their chops at the prospect of Suarez taking extreme measures to ensure a transfer.
Wenger played the part of a politician with his latest comments, saying that he wanted negotiations with Liverpool to remain "amicable." As reported by Sky Sports, though, the Gunners are still very much in pursuit of the 26-year-old star.
Earlier in the week, James Dickenson of Express claimed that Arsenal was preparing to lodge a third bid for Suarez in the neighborhood of £42.5 million.
That won't reach the basement figure of £50 million that Mirror's David Maddock claimed Liverpool were holding out on, but at this point, the Reds are in no position to demand top-dollar for a player who clearly doesn't want to ride out the storm at Anfield.
ESPN UK reported on Tuesday that former Reds star John Barnes was among those who wanted the club to part ways with the Suarez. "As far as Suarez is concerned, if he's not going to be happy, then he has to go," said Barnes.
Some of that unhappiness has been evident on the pitch. In Liverpool's preseason match against Melbourne Victory, Suarez was less-than-thrilled with his play on the pitch despite setting up Iago Aspas for a game-clinching goal.
From all sides, Suarez's days as a Red seem numbered. No other club has stepped up to the plate and showed the interest that Arsenal has, and Suarez's noticeable unhappiness could threaten to drag down any momentum the Reds might mount toward being one of the best EPL clubs this season.
Keeping that in mind, Arsenal must continue to hound Liverpool about accepting a transfer bid for Suarez. If a deal doesn't come together just before the transfer window closes, at least Wenger will have accomplished his task of trying to nab a star player with his club's deep pockets.
The Gunners are in too deep to give up now. Although they likely won't admit it in public, the Gunners have to feel like the next few days are desperate times.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. By any means necessary, Arsenal needs to close the door on Suarez—after he walks through the threshold at Emirates Stadium.
Follow B/R's Ethan Grant (@DowntownEG) on Twitter.
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