Thursday 21 September 2017

Wenger refuses to give up on summer swoop for Suarez

Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez

Jeremy Wilson

Arsene Wenger added further intrigue to Arsenal's pursuit of Luis Suarez by saying that he still hoped to be in a position to talk openly about a prospective deal for the Liverpool striker.

Arsenal have had a £30m offer rejected and, with Suarez publicly saying that the interest had made him feel "valued", they feel encouraged to launch a second bid.

Liverpool are obliged to inform Suarez of an offer in excess of £40m and the prospect of Champions League football is a major selling point for Arsenal.

Suarez, though, has previously indicated that he wants to leave English football and would prefer to go to Real Madrid.

Arsenal have also been trying to push through the £22m transfer of Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain and there is a theory that the Suarez offer is aimed at speeding up the Higuain negotiations.

The Real players report back for pre-season training on Monday when Higuain will hold face-to-face talks with new manager Carlo Ancelotti about his future.

Arsenal enjoyed a rapturous reception in Jakarta yesterday when they arrived for the first leg of an Asia tour that begins with a match against an Indonesian 'Dream Team' tomorrow before fixtures in Vietnam and Japan.

In his first press conference of the tour, Wenger declined to say whether Arsenal would increase their offer for Suarez but hinted a deal might be alive. "We're hoping we will be in a position where we can answer this question," he said. "As you know, the transfer period demands a certain air of confidentiality and secrecy."

Suarez's agent, Pere Guardiola, reiterated the player's desire to leave England at a meeting with Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers on Monday. Suarez then said that, although he is due to report back for pre-season training on June 21, "a phone call could change everything".

Rodgers stressed yesterday that he was still in constant dialogue with his star player.

"He has three years left on his contract, we don't want to sell him, and we hope everything will be fine for the summer," said Rodgers.

"The facts remain the same. He's a very valued player. We'll communicate in some way nearly every day, either through text or through a conversation. Luis wants Liverpool to do so well but, like every player, wants to be working at the very highest level." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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