Arsenal News: The Gunners' bizarre Luis Suarez bid explained by Dick Law
In the summer of 2013, Arsenal made headlines in the transfer market for a variety of reasons. After courting Gonzalo Higuain for a sizable chunk of the summer, they sealed the record-breaking capture of Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid but it was a transfer they failed to complete that went on to make headlines.
Luis Suarez, having grown disillusioned by incessant media pressure, was agitating for a move away from the Merseyside club and the Arsenal hierarchy sensed an opportunity to snap the Uruguayan up, a chance they were determined to take. The Liverpool striker was rumored to have a £40 million release clause and Arsenal angered Liverpool by placing an audacious bid of £40 million and a solitary pound in an attempt to force negotiations with the player.
6 years after one of the most bizarre stories in the transfer market, former Arsenal transfer fixer Dick Law finally provided an explanation. In an interview, Law confirmed that Arsenal's outlandish bid was only their opening offer.
If Liverpool received a bid in the excess of £40 million, they had to let Suarez know about it and having been made aware of this piece of information, Arsenal tested Liverpool's resolve with a freak bid.
“What do you think they're smoking over there at Emirates?”
That was Liverpool owner John W Henry's iconic response and it angered everyone involved at the Merseyside outfit. To make matters worse, Suarez had expressed his willingness to leave and there was a real possibility that he'd complete a sensational move to the Emirates Stadium.
Law went on to add that Arsenal's intention was never to agitate Liverpool, they simply wanted to place a bid that would give them official permission to negotiate with the player.
“We knew that we had to exceed a certain threshold and so we decided to throw another pound on it. We could have thrown £50 or £500,000, but it wasn’t going to make any difference to the final negotiation."
Liverpool firmly held their ground and although Suarez was interested in moving to North London, he decided not to agitate for a transfer. The Uruguayan later revealed that club captain Steven Gerrard played a massive part in influencing his decision which eventually convinced him to stay.
“I’m about to go to Arsenal, forcing myself to go, and Steven tells me ‘I promise that if you stay this year you’re going to take off and next year you’ll go to Bayern, Barcelona, Real Madrid or whichever one you want, but stay this year because you won’t be better off at Arsenal'
Suarez went on to stay at Liverpool for another season and came agonizingly close to winning Liverpool their maiden Premier League title, scoring a staggering 31 goals as he was crowned PFA Player of The Year. In the summer of 2014, Liverpool held their end of the bargain as they sold him to Barcelona for a £65 million fee.