Arsene Wenger opens up on Arsenal's £40,000,001 bid for Luis Suarez
What’s the story?
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that Luis Suarez had almost signed on with the Gunners in the summer of 2013. The Uruguayan striker was at Liverpool at the time and was close to moving to the north London club before his contract was extended at Anfield.
Wenger claims that the club had an agreement with Suarez but that the information they had received about the £40m release clause was wrong.
“He was very close [to joining Arsenal],” Wenger said in an interview with beIn Sports. “We had an agreement with the player. We had been wrongly advised that he had a clause, with a minimal clause, but we had an agreement with the player. You can ask him.
“I'm convinced he wanted to join us and then they sold him. They kept him one more year, improved his contract and promised to sell him the year later to a club abroad.”
In case you didn’t know...
Arsenal’s pursuit of Suarez in 2013 was one of the biggest transfer sagas in the Premier League that summer. Having been signed by the Merseyside club in the 2011 winter transfer window, Suarez’s stock had steadily risen over the years and had scored 30 goals in all competitions in the 2012/13 season that had prompted the Gunners to place a bid for the striker.
At the time, it was widely reported that Suarez had a £40m release clause in his contract with Liverpool. Arsenal reportedly put in a cheeky bid of £40,000,001 that caused a huge uproar at Liverpool.
The heart of the matter
When the bid was placed, It was safe to say that nobody was impressed with the Gunners’ move. The media crucified them while it had even led to Liverpool owner John W Henry to tweet about the audacity of Arsenal to go just one pound over the supposed release clause.
Suarez would stay another year after he was convinced by skipper Steven Gerrard and he would score 31 goals in the Premier League as the Reds finished runners-up to Manchester City. Barcelona soon came in with a £65m bid and he soon made the move to La Liga to join forces with Lionel Messi and Neymar to form the most fearsome trio in Europe.
Wenger’s parsimonious nature is very well known and the Frenchman doesn’t spend big money on a player unless he is world class – as we have seen with Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. If there was indeed a release clause of £40m, Arsenal should have bid exactly £40m. Adding that extra £1 only made matters worse and smacked of disrespect.
With Suarez in the side, Arsenal may have finally replaced a Robin van Persie – something they had failed to do since the centre-forward’s move to Manchester United. They might have even been title contenders. But, in the end, there was no stopping Suarez from moving to Barcelona.