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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Luis Suarez to Arsenal but not with £40M price tag

Luis SuarezLiverpool admitted for the first time they will sell Luis Suarez, after the player told them he wants to talk to Arsenal.

However, Anfield boss Brendan Rodgers has put a £50million price on the head of his Uruguay striker.

Arsenal triggered a clause in Suarez’s contract with a stunning £40,000,0001 bid, although Liverpool rejected the offer. It’s like a game of poker - bottom dealing and hope no other clubs enters the bidding war.

But the first signs Arsenal’s strategy is working came when Suarez was told he can to speak to the Gunners as Liverpool finally admitted they are prepared to sell him.

Arsenal are ready to raise their bid slightly plus add-ons and bonuses but they are unlikely to go to £50M.

Rodgers, however, is unmoved. He has had a number of conversations with Suarez at Liverpool’s base in Melbourne and will have more discussions with the 26-year-old when they arrive in Bangkok on Thursday.

Earlier, Suarez made an 18-minute cameo appearance as a substitute on as he returned to the Liverpool team for the first time since April 21. In front of 95,000 fans at the MCG, he set up the second goal in the Merseysiders’ 2-0 win.

Brendan Rodgers has compared Suarez's value to that of Edinson Cavani, who joined Paris Saint-Germain last week for £55M, but the Anfield manager has stopped short of completely ruling out the Uruguayan's departure, merely saying every player has his value and he will only leave "if something drastic happens".

A bid rising to £42M for a 26-year-old who is banned for the first six games of the new season might be regarded as tempting by Liverpool's America-based owners Fenway Sports Group but a tweet sent from John W Henry's Twitter account seemingly ridiculed Arsenal’s latest bid for Suarez. "What do you think they are smoking over there at Emirates?" the account said.

Mockery aside, Liverpool are angered it took Arsenal two weeks to improve their initial offer of £30M plus £7M in add-ons, and only then to a sum that their chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, had been told would be instantly rejected. For their part Arsenal, evidently encouraged to believe that £40,000,001 would prompt negotiations with Suarez, hope the 26-year-old will agitate for an exit from Anfield in the coming days. A Premier League or legal hearing could ultimately be required to resolve the stand-off should it continue.

It was a message echoed by Brendan Rodgers after Liverpool's 2-0 pre-season friendly victory against Melbourne Victory at the MCG on Wednesday.

Suarez owed the fans, he said. Suarez had a debt of gratitude to a city that has taken him in like a son and sheltered him as he served lengthy bans for racially abusing Patrice Evra and biting Branislav Ivanovic.

And yet the controversial Uruguayan remains intent on leaving Liverpool this summer, intent on walking away to join a club that can offer him Champions League football.

Arsenal’s biggest concern is Real Madrid making a late bid, and they are set to receive a £30M boost to their transfer kitty after agreeing to sell Gonzalo Higuain to Napoli for £30m.

Arsenal will put a five year, £150,000-a-week contract on the table to tempt Suarez.

Arsenal believe they have been given enough encouragement by the Uruguayan's representatives that he is keen to move to Emirates Stadium in search of Champions League football.


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