Arsenal's manager Wenger looks at his players before their friendly match against Urawa Reds, as part of Arsenal's Asia Tour 2013, in Saitama

Wenger: Arsenal not close to Suarez, but are prepared to wait

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has spoken publicly for the first time about his attempts to sign Luis Suarez, but in typical Wenger fashion, he used the opportunity to downplay the whirlwind of rumors.

While he believes his club has a long way to go to complete the move, they are dug in and will wait for the player or other club to capitulate.

“We are not close to signing Suarez or anybody else so there’s no reason why I should talk about it” Wenger declared, but he still went on to talk about it.

“We are ready to do quick deals but all the transfers do not depend only on us. But we are prepared to wait. It looks unlikely before the Emirates Cup (next weekend).”

Reports say Arsenal submitted a pot-stirring £40,000,001 bid to trigger a certain clause in Suarez’s contract, but the contents of that clause are not exactly known.

Wenger admitted that other leagues around the world are growing at a rate that has made it harder for English clubs to make big-name signings. “I believe that every club competes on a very high level. What has changed recently is that in Europe some countries like France suddenly have bought some very very talented players who two or three years ago would all have come to England. It makes the chase for talent very difficult.”

However, the Arsenal manager is less concerned with the name of the player as long as he makes an impact on the pitch.  Unfortunately for Arsenal fans, Wenger also said they’re not close to acquiring anyone new, big name or not.

“What we want is not as name but as good player. The name is less important. What is more important is the quality of the player. At the moment I must tell you we are not close to signing anybody.”

Thursday, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers questioned the potential move, saying swapping Liverpool for Arsenal was a lateral move. “I know what we are trying to build and grow, so why would you swap Liverpool to go to Arsenal? I am not sure that it adds up, to be honest. Arsenal has a wonderful history in its own right but Liverpool is one of the biggest clubs in the world.”

The biggest question on other peoples’ minds is why Suarez would want a switch to Arsenal when he has said time and time again this summer he wants out of England all together.  He’s vilified the English media on numerous occasions, and has stated his desire to move overseas.  However, if this is simply a ploy to find a switch to a Champions League club with higher wages, then a move to Arsenal would confirm the use of a public smokescreen.

It is speculated by The Mirror’s John Cross that Arsenal have had talks with Suarez and have informed him to hand in a transfer request, forcing Liverpool’s hand.  However, this is against the player’s wishes, since a formal transfer request would void a clause in his contract assigning a certain portion of any transfer fee Liverpool accept for him be sent to Suarez himself.

Man City: Guardiola updates De Bruyne, Kompany injury status

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20:  Vincent Kompany and Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City talk during a training session at the City Football Academy on October 20, 2015 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images
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Kevin De Bruyne has been as valuable an attacker as any in the Premier League season, so his injury suffered this weekend is quite a big deal.

There were fears that Manchester City’s Belgian attacker would be gone for more than a month, but manager Pep Guardiola has quelled those concerns to an extent.

[ MORE: NCAA star’s fastest hat trick ]

De Bruyne will miss Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League match against Celtic, which shouldn’t bother the club too much, though his absence Sunday against Tottenham Hotspur could be felt more keenly.

Guardiola said that both De Bruyne and his Belgian teammate, Vincent Kompany, should be back in two to three weeks time. In De Bruyne’s case, Guardiola’s specifically mentioned after the international break. That puts him in line for an Oct. 15 trip to Everton.

The manager also related that he’s excited for his first trip to Celtic Park, as he’s not been to Glasgow to face Celtic in his career.

From ManCity.com:

“Everyone talks to me about the atmosphere, I’m looking forward to playing here. I know how strong they are here. I spoke with my old players, and they have said this is a special environment.”

Kickoff from Scotland is 2:45 p.m. ET.

Champions League preview: Arsenal match sees Xhaka vs. Xhaka; Man City hosts Celtic

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 27:  Manager Arsene Wenger of Arsenal talks to Granit Xhaka during an Arsenal training session ahead of the Champions League Group A match between Arsenal and Basel at London Colney on September 27, 2016 in St Albans, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
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There are some absolute beauties on tap for Wednesday in the UEFA Champions League, with two Premier League clubs in play and a pair of matches pitting top teams from Germany and Spain.

[ MORE: UCL Tuesday roundup ]

All Wednesday matches kick off at 2:45 p.m. ET.

Celtic vs. Manchester City

Having been hammered 7-0 at home by Barcelona, Celtic’s “reprieve” is a trip to face Pep Guardiola and Manchester City. Brendan Rodgers will need to pull every trick out of his hat to avoid another blowout, as City had little trouble in dispatching a solid Borussia Monchengladbach side 4-0.

Arsenal vs. FC Basel

Both Group A matches were 1-1 draws to open the stage, though few expect draws on day 2. That’s because giants Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain move onto perceived lesser lights in Basel and Ludogorets Razgrad.

The Gunners are flying, having gotten their toughest fixture out of the way in a 1-1 draw at PSG. Arsene Wenger‘s crew is fresh off a 3-0 thumping of Chelsea, and will be aware of Basel’s best: Serey Die, Birkir Bjarnason, and Taulant Xhaka, brother of Arsenal’s Granit. That’s right… all the Xhakas.

Atletico Madrid vs. Bayern Munich

A road goal led Diego Simeone’s Atleti past Bayern in last year’s UCL semifinal, and the Bavarians will hope for a better fate under new boss Carlo Ancelotti.

Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Barcelona

Man, this group. A very good Gladbach side will have to rebound from a 4-0 loss to Man City by hosting Barcelona. The good news for the Germans is that Barcelona will be without Leo Messi, though that mattered little in Barca’s 5-0 win in La Liga play this weekend.

Elsewhere
Ludogorets Razgrad vs. Paris Saint-Germain
Napoli vs. Benfica
Besiktas vs. Dynamo Kyiv
FC Rostov vs. PSV Eindhoven

Albert Ruiz scores fastest hat trick to start game in NCAA history

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After being named the NCAA Soccer Men’s Player of the Week, Spanish junior Albert Ruiz went out and set the base for a repeat.

The Florida Gulf Coast striker scored three goals in three minutes and 19 seconds on Tuesday, and the Eagles needed everyone in what turned out to be a 6-5 thriller.

FGCU was up 5-0 after 16:16, but saw that lead drop to 5-4 by the 55th minute.

[ MORE: Pochettino happy with “must win” defeat of CSKA ]

Back to Ruiz, his three goals all came before the game was 10 minutes old (9:02 to be exact). The team’s Twitter account says that’s a record to start a game, besting the record was set by Indiana’s Steve Burks on Oct. 6, 1973. Burks scored his three goals by the 11:41 mark of the first half.

If you look at the clock, too, we think it’s more like nine minutes on the dot.

Ruiz scored seven times in 11 games as a sophomore, and is battering that impressive mark this year. It’s not even halftime at FGCU, and he’s up to 11 goals in his ninth game of the season. That puts him into a tie with Buffalo’s Russell Cicerone for the most goals in men’s D1 soccer (and Ruiz has more than 45 minutes to play).

The 6-foot-2 forward is going to be attracting a lot of attention, especially considering this is his second hat trick in 10 days.

PST Extra: Breaking down the 1v2 clash between Spurs, Man City

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Manchester City visits White Hart Lane for a match-up of this early season’s first and second place Premier League clubs.

City will have one less day of rest than its Premier League rivals, though both are coming off road matches in Europe.

Spurs beat CSKA Moscow 1-0 on Tuesday, while Man City is battling Borussia Monchengladbach in Germany a day later.

[ MORE: Pochettino happy with “must win” defeat of CSKA ]

A win would pull Spurs to within a point of the leaders, while a City victory would guarantee, at-worst, a five-point table advantage for Pep Guardiola‘s bunch.

Kickoff is at 9:15 a.m. ET Sunday, and our own Joe Prince-Wright has the preview for you with the latest PST Extra (above).