Tuesday 23 January 2018

Transfer watch: Arsenal up ante in Suarez pursuit

Arsenal may attempt to trigger a €40 million transfer release clause
Arsenal may attempt to trigger a €40 million transfer release clause

Luis Suarez's representatives believe that Liverpool's resolve to keep the striker can be tested only when a £40m clause in his contract is activated.

Liverpool insist they will be under no obligation to sell Suarez even if this valuation is met. They believe it entitles them only to inform Suarez of the approach, but this position will be examined if – or when – someone offers that much. For Suarez and his advisers, such a bid would be sure to prompt them into thinking he would be entitled to leave.

In the absence of such an offer, Liverpool have been able to stand firm, maintaining that they rate Suarez even higher than the £50m they received for Fernando Torres when he was sold to Chelsea two years ago. The only bid received so far has been from Arsenal– that was confirmed by Liverpool's managing director Ian Ayre this week.

There are suggestions that Arsene Wenger is prepared to increase his offer to £35m. However, it has now emerged that the first Arsenal bid would have eventually increased to that amount based on Suarez's appearances and success in north London.

Likely lads

Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas wants to remain at Barcelona, according to coach Tito Vilanova. Manchester United offered €30m to bring the 26-year-old former Arsenal captain back to the Premier League.

Vilanova said it was good that Barcelona received offers for their players, but that he had spoken to Fabregas and settled the matter.

"I had a talk with him and he said he wanted to stay here and did not want to go to another big club," Vilanova said.

Vilanova will likely need to rely on Fabregas more this season since midfielder Thiago Alcantara has opted to play at Bayern Munich under former club coach Pep Guardiola.

Done deals

Paris Saint-Germain broke the transfer record in the French league by signing Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani to a five-year contract for a reported fee of €64m.

Swansea have signed former Arsenal left-back Jernade Meade on a free, subject to international clearance.

Meade (20) came through the youth ranks at Arsenal and started in the Champions League group game away to Olympiacos in December 2012, before leaving the Emirates Stadium in the summer at the end of his contract.

Sunderland have completed the signing of Italy midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini from Juventus.

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