The Guardian is reporting that Arsenal have had a £30 million ($44.7m) bid for Liverpool striker Luis Suarez turned down by Liverpool.
The offer is believed to have been made sometime towards the end of last week, with Liverpool immediately rejecting.
For the Reds, the turn-down emphasizes their desire to hold on to the controversial Uruguayan despite his comments about wanting to leave the club because the media in England does not treat him well.
In response, Liverpool explained that Suarez was not for sale and they expect him to honor his contract.
Arsenal’s interest in Suarez emerged last week when British bookmakers reported heavy action on the player’s transfer to the Emirates. One major bookie went so far as to stop taking bets on the move while most sites had a Suarez-to-Arsenal deal pegged at 2-1.
More: Luis Suarez to Arsenal? Bet on it.
The Guardian believes that Arsenal’s bid for Suarez could merely be a ploy to pressure Real Madrid into finalizing the Gunners’ deal to sign Gonzalo Higuain. That deal, which has been in negotiations for over three weeks now, is expected to see the Argentine head to North London on a £23 million ($34.3m) transfer fee with wages in the range of £100,000-£120,000 ($149k-$197k).
More: Arsenal deal for Gonzalo Higuain looks imminent
If The Guardian’s position is to be believed, it would suggest that the Gunners are not looking to purchase both Higuain and Suarez. That would be the kind of double coup Goonahs could only dream about, regardless of whether or not the two South Americans could operate on the pitch at the same time.
Buying both Higuain and Suarez becomes even more unlikely when Arsenal’s most pressing needs are considered. While the club would be well served by bringing in a world-class striker (apologies, Olivier Giroud), buying two would be wasteful. Instead, the Gunners would do well to focus on their most pressing need, bringing in Patrick Vieira 2.0 – a holding midfielder who can handle the ball while dishing out defensive bite.
Everton’s Marouane Fellaini would seem to be the best fit for the holding midfielder role although the club also has expressed interest in Freiburg’s Matthias Ginter, Manchester City’s Gareth Barry, Lyon’s Maxime Gonalons and Anzhi Makhachkala’s Odil Ahmedov.
Once a holding midfielder and striker have been signed, Arsenal will consider finding a replacement for Bacary Sagna at right-back and possibly bringing in another winger.
But for now, all eyes are on the Suarez situation.
And while the Uruguayan is unlikely to end up at the Emirates, Arsenal’s willingness to make the £30 million offer should be uplifting to their supporters. Going into the summer transfer window many worried that, despite being handed a £70 million ($104m) kitty, Arsene Wenger would not shoot for the stars.
Might the old dog be learning new tricks?