Arsène Wenger has insisted that Luis Suarez would have to abide by Arsenal's traditional values should he join from Liverpool.
Wenger has bid £40m plus £1 for the controversial striker, who has been given lengthy bans for both racial abuse and biting while at Anfield. Arsenal fans are divided over the potential signing but the manager was confident that, should they reach a deal with Liverpool, they would not compromise what the club has always stood for.
"Look, we have values that we want our players to respect," Wenger said. "And no matter where they come from, we are of course very in touch with that. This club has built a reputation, not only during my period here but over 130 years and values that are very important to this club have to be respected by every player, no matter where he comes from. And that will be with every potential signing."
Wenger was coy on the bidding process itself. "I don't want to speak about Suarez," he said. "That is between Liverpool and Arsenal and we will completely respect what Liverpool want to do and we will do that if it is feasible in an amicable way. I am a great believer that you have to keep as much confidentiality as you can – although that is quite difficult in the modern world."
Having failed to sign Gonzalo Higuain, who will be in Napoli's squad for this weekend's Emirates Cup, there is pressure on Arsenal to complete a deal for Suarez, but Wenger denied that he needed to make high-profile signings, as there were not many players who could improve his squad.
"If you can give me names that are better than who we have I am ready to talk about it," he said. "The young players we have, they are on the way up. If you look at [Carl] Jenkinson, [Kieran] Gibbs, [Aaron] Ramsey, [Jack] Wilshere, [Alex Oxlade-] Chamerbain and [Theo] Walcott, they have come through and have experience in the Premier League. They will be better. Football it is not only about bringing players from outside. It is about developing."
As Wenger repeatedly insisted, Arsenal have not been entirely silent in the transfer market, having signed young French striker Yaya Sanogo from Auxerre. "We have signed Sanogo – he has not made headlines. Why? Because he is not £50m-£100m. But I am quite confident he will make a name for himself soon on the pitch and for me that is the most important thing. The quality of the player is not only linked with the amount of money he costs. Then if we can do some more we will do.
"Sanogo will surprise you as your expectation does not look to be very high. He won't surprise me as my expectation level is very high. He is a top-class striker."
Wenger has often preached financial caution in recent years and he admitted his bafflement at the prospect of Real Madrid spending a world-record £100m fee on Gareth Bale, given this is the year that financial fair play regulations come into force.
"It makes a joke of them," Wenger said. "It is quite amazing that in the year when the financial fair play comes in, the world has gone completely crazy. You wonder, what kind of impact and affect financial fair play will have on the football world because it looks like it has made everybody worse."
Wenger confirmed that Nacho Monreal will return to training on Monday while Thomas Vermaelen is out for another six weeks with a back injury.
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Porto v Galatasaray (2pm)
Arsenal v Napoli (4.20pm)
Napoli v Porto (2pm)
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