Inch by inch, Arsenal are getting closer to what they want, but they still have quite a way to go. Their £40 million bid does make Liverpool obligated to consider their offer, which means allowing Luis Suarez to hold talks with Arsenal, but it doesn’t mean that the Reds have to sell the Uruguayan striker.
So what are they waiting for? A £50 million bid. Liverpool have already sold a striker for that sum more than two years ago, and that didn’t turn out very well for the London club who signed him, as Fernando Torres scored 15 goals in 82 Premier League matches since his move to Stamford Bridge in 2011.
Suarez himself would love the opportunity to leave Liverpool, despite the amazing way the club has backed him through thick and thin over the last couple of years – from his constant diving to the Patrice Evra incident and the biting case with Branislav Ivanovic.
His talk of being hounded by the British press has changed a lot over the last couple of months. Suddenly, the same English media doesn’t seem so frightening and life ruining when he has the chance to play for a club in England that will be in the Champions League. A player has the right to change his mind, but it suddenly draws Suarez in an even less sympathetic light than before.
At the moment, Liverpool aren’t letting him go. He has joined their preseason tour in Australia, coming off the bench to help beat Melbourne Victory 2-0 with an impressive assist to Iago Aspas, the man who might eventually take over Suarez’ role in the attack. Suarez made one of his famous frantic dribbles near the goal line, with defenders not sure of marking him closely or blocking his passing path.
How does this end? Still hard to tell. While Arsenal can afford Suarez, paying such a hefty sum for one player when there are other areas to be improved and Arsenal haven’t been too successful in addressing them is risky, and maybe even a bit out of character for Arsene Wenger. Putting such a tag price on a player might do more harm than good in some cases, and that’s also something worth considering.