Belfast Telegraph

Wenger: Suarez bid on standby

Arsenal face a race against time to sign Luis Suarez ahead of their Champions League play-off, with manager Arsene Wenger admitting the transfer bid was "on standby".

The Gunners have seen an offer of £40million plus £1 - which was believed would trigger the Uruguayan's release clause - rejected out of hand by the Anfield club.

However, Suarez has made it clear he wants to leave and, in a wide-ranging interview, complained of what he saw as broken promises from Reds manager Brendan Rodgers.

The 26-year-old - currently serving a domestic 10-game ban imposed by the Football Association for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic at the end of last season - could yet force the situation by handing in a formal transfer request, or even asking the Premier League to intervene over the interpretation of the now infamous get-out clause.

Whatever transpires, if Arsenal are to be able to field Suarez in their crucial two-legged Champions League play-off later this month, then the squad list must be registered with UEFA by 11pm on Monday, August 12, leaving little time for the finer details of what has become the summer's most protracted transfer saga to be thrashed out.

When pressed at the Emirates Cup over the weekend, Wenger stressed he would not get involved in a public auction for Liverpool's key man.

However, the Gunners boss admitted in an interview with Al Jazeera Sport that the whole situation was far from ideal as the clock ticks down on the summer transfer window.

"At the moment the situation is on standby. I heard that [Suarez is considering legal action to force a move], but this is sometimes linked with things that you don't know as a potential buyer," Wenger said to Al Jazeera Sport.

"That is the story between Suarez and Liverpool and I don't know what has been said, what has been promised and what has been written and that is only Suarez and Liverpool that can decide that.

"It is nothing to do with us. We have been told that the player wants to leave Liverpool and that is why we have acted.

"I really don't know what will be decided by Liverpool."

The Professional Footballers' Association could yet look to mediate.

Chief executive Gordon Taylor said on TalkSPORT: "It is a delicate situation and we are trying to help. These buy-out clauses have caused no end of problems in the past and they continue to do so because of the way they were drafted at the time.

"He [Suarez] believes the £40m amount that is mentioned, if that is offered that gives him the right to go.

"Liverpool, from their side, are saying that is a minimum figure from which they will consider negotiation and of course they will want to keep the player, unless they replace the player with someone as good or better, which is not going to be easy in a short period of time.

"There are different ways it can be interpreted. If it goes to the Premier League it will take time and the window is then closed.

"We have been asked to try and help to sort the situation out and we have been trying to do that."

Arsenal, meanwhile, will finalise their pre-season build-up with a friendly against Premier League rivals Manchester City in Helsinki on Saturday.

The Gunners failed to win a match as they hosted the Emirates Cup, drawing with Napoli and then losing to a Didier Drogba double for Galatasaray.

Winger Theo Walcott is relishing the challenge posed by pa paManuel Pellegrini's new-look Blues.

"Man City are very strong this season, they know what they want to do, but we know how strong we are," he said on Arsenal Player.

"It will be a chance for us all to experience the tempo of the Premier League and what it's going to be like.

"It is going to be a good test, but everyone will be ready for it."


From Belfast Telegraph