Arsenal vs Liverpool: Arsene Wenger remains bitter over failure to sign Luis Suarez and has no sympathy over Raheem Sterling transfer

Wenger's Arsenal bid fell on deaf ears at Anfield after Liverpool decided against selling Suarez in 2013

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The Independent Football

Arsene Wenger can be a very bitter man. Whether it's an 'Invicibles' defeat to end a 49-match unbeaten streak, or suffering an absolute hiding at the hands of a Premier League rival, the Arsenal man can bear a grudge for quite some time. Just ask Sir Alex Ferguson.

So refusing to sell your star striker when a reported release clause is activated will rank pretty highly on the list of things that annoy the 64-year-old Frenchman, such as the saga that saw Wenger bid for Luis Suarez two years ago only to be rebuffed by Liverpool’s American owners.

The Arsenal manager was asked about the recent transfer of Raheem Sterling from Liverpool to Manchester City, which went through for £44m that could rise to £49m after the England international pushed for an Anfield exit.


True to form, Wenger gave the Merseyside club short shrift ahead of this evening’s Premier League fixture between the two clubs.

“Liverpool make their own decisions,” said Wenger.” They refused to sell us [Luis] Suarez so I cannot feel too much sympathy for them.”


Wenger caused a huge stir in the summer of 2013 when he approved a bid of £40m plus £1 for Uruguay striker Suarez with the belief that it activated a release clause in his contract. Liverpool rejected the approach, Suarez fumed before being “reintegrated” into the first-team squad, signed a new contract and joined Barcelona for £75m the following year.

Suarez-Rodgers.jpgArsenal were linked with a move for Sterling, but they decided against a making a formal offer as City blew their rivals out of the water with a big-money offer that is, so far, the most expensive move of the transfer window.

Wenger leads Arsenal training ahead of the match with Liverpool

“I personally rate Raheem Sterling, we will see that in the longer term,” said Wenger, clearly a fan of the young midfielder.

“I personally don’t think that Sterling was making a lot of drama. It’s just during the transfer window that that happened.

“During the season the boy was quiet, never made any stupid statement. I don’t think he made too much noise. Will they miss him? He’s a quality player. But they bought [Roberto] Firmino. We will see what he will produce. He is a similar player.

“But let’s remember two years ago with Suarez, [Daniel] Sturridge and Sterling, they scored over a hundred goals. Score more than a hundred goals in the Premier League, you need special quality to do that, and Sterling was part of that.”

Sterling has impressed so far for City

City could yet break that fee with the anticipated move for Wolfsburg midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, while Chelsea are being linked with a club record offer of £70m for Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba. However, Arsenal have not been as prolific in the transfer market as some of their fans would have liked, with the sole £10m capture of the former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech the only major signing to date.