Arsenal’s pursuit of Luis Suarez is set to continue although manager Arsene Wenger has insisted that negotiations would remain “amicable”.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s Emirates Cup where Napoli, Galatasaray and Porto will visit north London, Wenger confirmed that he remains in the hunt for Suarez as well as other signings with a month left of the summer transfer window.
Fans will be concerned though at the club’s lack of activity in the transfer market so far, remembering the beginning of the 2011/12 season when they suffered an embarrassing 8-2 defeat to Manchester United that triggered a number of moves on the final day of the season.
The Gunners did attempt to sign Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain and were close to finalising a £23m deal only for the Spanish club to hike the asking price up to £34.5m. Arsenal refused to meet the price and the Argentinian eventually moved to Napoli, meaning he will visit the Emirates Stadium and play against Arsenal tomorrow afternoon.
This forced the club to put all their eggs into one basket in terms of the Suarez deal, but Reds’ managing director Ian Ayre said yesterday that they had no intention of selling the striker to their Premier League rivals after they rejected Arsenal’s £40m plus £1 offer.
Wenger has not given in though, and he was hopeful of negotiating a deal with the Anfield club before the end of the transfer window that would see Suarez move south to the capital.
"I don't want to speak about Suarez, because that is between Liverpool and Arsenal,” said Wenger. “We will completely respect what Liverpool wants to do. We want to (sign the player) if it is feasible in an amicable way.
"I am a great believer you have to keep as much confidentiality as possible, which is quite difficult in the modern world.
"But we work very hard, not only on the case you name, but on other different cases."
Given Suarez’s disciplinary problems in the past, and the fact that he is currently serving a 10-game ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic – of which he has six games left to run – some managers may have been put off making a move for the forward.
Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright believes that is the reason why Arsenal stand a chance of signing him though, as he thinks a team like Barcelona, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich would have snapped him up had he kept a better disciplinary record.
Wenger has no such worries though, claiming that any signing regardless of where they are from must adhere to the clubs values and maintain the clubs respectability.
Wenger said: "We have values that we want our players to respect. No matter where they come from, we will be very touchy on that of course.
"This club has built a reputation, not only during my period here but over 127 years, and the values that are very important for this club have to be respected by every player, no matter where he comes from. That will be with every potential signing."
Promises were made towards the end of last season that Arsenal would break the mould they have become so accustomed to and spend on improving the squad this summer with world class players, with a £70m transfer budget set to allow them to compete for the biggest names in the sport.
But with just French Under-21 striker Yaya Sanogo joining the club this summer, Arsenal have no doubt been cautious, if not too cautious, in their approach to bringing in new faces to the squad, and having been linked with names such as goalkeeper Julio Cesar, midfielder Marouane Fellaini and striker Wayne Rooney, some may still be waiting for these so-called world class players.
But The Gunners boss feels it is a reflection of all the leading Premier league teams barring Manchester City, who have wasted no time in taking the transfer market by storm.
"We have signed Sanogo, he has not made the headlines. Why? Because he is not £50m to £100million, but I am quite confident he will make them soon on the pitch, and that for me is the most important," the Arsenal boss said.
"We can still strengthen the squad, there is one month to go. We are at the beginning of August, the transfer window finishes on August 31 (Sept 2).
"We are working very hard to strengthen our squad."
He added: "I am confident. You look at many teams around us. Nothing has happened until now. This team with financial potential as well.
"At the moment the market hasn't moved a lot. Apart from Man City, nobody has done anything."