Belfast Telegraph

Arsenal could launch £35m bid for Luis Suarez as Gonzalo Higuain deal stalls

By Jack de Menezes

Arsenal have been reported as prepared to launch a new bid for Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, plunging the transfer for Gonzalo Higuain into doubt as the move continues to stall.

The Uruguayan has attracted attention from Arsene Wenger this summer, with a £30m enquiry immediately dismissed by the Anfield club.

But it is believed that Wenger will submit a new bid of around £35m despite Liverpool’s determination to accept nothing less than £40m.

The news comes after a deal for Real Madrid’s Higuain has hit the rocks, and although it is thought the move has been agreed in principle, a move for Suarez will raise serious questions over the transfer of the Argentinian.

Arsenal are said to be prepared to spend a significant chunk of their reported £70m transfer budget on a front-line striker that fits the world class status that Gunners fans are demanding. Wenger has been under pressure over the last few years to improve his squad, and the club are now in a position to compete for the best players in the world.

Higuain is due to return to pre-season training with Madrid today, with the on-going talks over a move set to continue despite his requirement to return to action in Spain.

Madrid could be holding out on letting the striker go while they wait to see what happens with Suarez, with Carlo Ancelotti’s interest in the striker meaning a move to the Spanish capital could be very likely.

Manchester City are also monitoring the situation according to those close to the former Ajax striker, though the Reds preference is to sell Suarez to a foreign club rather than a Premier League rival.

Suarez hasn’t demanded a move, though he has admitted that a move to a bigger club would be hard to turn down as he seeks Champions League football – something that has eluded Liverpool for a number of years now.

“If I receive an important offer to progress my career, I will study it,” said Suarez. “Some clubs have asked about me but I hand questions over to my agent. I am no stranger to rumours.

“I always want to improve. That’s why I left Ajax for Liverpool. But this club needs to fight to enter the Champions League and, when it doesn’t happen, it damages the morale of any player. So I’ve suffered.

“It is hard to view the Premier League every week with never a chance of winning it.”

Suarez will miss the first six games of the new season as part of his 10-game ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic towards the end of last season, and he feels that the way he has been treated by the English media has led people not to see the “real” Luis Suarez.

“On top of that, the English media do not understand me,” he continued. “The controversies with (Patrice) Evra and (Branislav) Ivanovic were decisive. There are always extra questions when people analyse me.

“After the Evra incident, it was very difficult to convince people about the ‘real’ Luis Suarez. Things had improved but then the incident involving Ivanovic was another blow.

“Had that not happened, perhaps I would have been regarded as the best Premier League player last season.”

Arsenal began their pre-season preparations yesterday with a convincing 7-0 victory over an Indonesian Dream Team in Jakarta as part of their tour of Asia.

Olivier Giroud netted twice, while Chuba Akpom, Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski, Kris Olsson and Thomas Eisfeld completed the rout in the comfortable win, as Wenger fielded a strong side in order to gain early momentum to try and force the quick start to the season that some of his players have demanded this year.

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