Arsene Wenger chased Luis Suarez during the summer, and it now seems he may just revisit that plan in January after he evaded direct questions on the issue in Friday’s press conference.
Arsenal and Liverpool meet this weekend for the first time since the Gunners tried to sign the Merseyside outfit’s prized asset during the close-season, as reported by BBC Sport.
On Friday, the Frenchman was asked directly if he still would like to capture Suarez, to which ESPN quotes Wenger saying: "I am not focused on that now, 24 hours before this game. You [the media] made it [Suarez bids] public. I didn't make anything public."
Wenger was then asked if the Uruguayan is "still a player he would love to have in his team"—per Sky Sports News TV channel—to which he stated:
Look, he plays for Liverpool and at the moment he is doing very well. What is important for me is players who play for Arsenal and not those who could play for Arsenal. What is important is the players who will play against Luis Suarez.
Wenger famously tried to lure Suarez away from Anfield with a bid of £40 million plus £1—a price the French boss refused to up, according to James Olley of the London Evening Standard.
Suarez’s stunning form has seen him rack up six goals in four games since returning from his 10-game ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, per Who Scored.
His partnership with Daniel Sturridge continues to blossom as the Anfield club settle into a rhythm of direct, attacking football that sees them occupy third place in the Premier League.
Wenger previously confirmed he is willing to spend on reinforcements in January, according to David Wright of the Express, and finally has the opportunity to significantly strengthen a Gunners side that hasn’t won anything since the 2004-05 FA Cup triumph over Manchester United.
The manager’s refusal to be drawn into discussion of a possible move for Suarez suggests a transfer isn’t completely off the cards, especially when it is considered that Olivier Giroud remains the club's only in-form striker.
Arsenal face stern competition if they are to land the 26-year-old. Adrian Kajumba of the Daily Star claims Real Madrid could offer Karim Benzema and £20 million for the Liverpool striker—a deal that would also quash Wenger’s rumoured interest in the Los Blancos forward, reported by Metro.
The 64-year-old praised both Suarez and Sturridge in his pre-match press conference, as tweeted by the club's official account:
If Suarez happens to influence the scoreline in Liverpool's favour at the Emirates, Wenger will likely need to add a lot more than £1 to that £40 million sum, should Arsenal re-enter the mix for the divisive player's signature.