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Arsenal to up their bid for Luis Suárez, keep Gonzalo Higuaín on hold

Jul 15, 2013, 12:59 AM EDT

FILE - Luis Suarez of Liverpool Accused In Biting Incident

The encouraging part for Arsenal fans about this ongoing saga is that it’s becoming all the more obvious Arsène Wenger does, in fact, have a war chest to empty in this summer’s transfer market. The discouraging part: No major purchases have been made, and if old ideological-based concerns are going to get in the way of spending money new advertising deals have given the Gunners, then what’s the point?

We’ll get to that in a minute. For now let’s talk about the latest reports out of England surrounding Wenger’s newfound fascination with Liverpool’s Luis Suárez, the want-away striker moving slightly closer to Arsenal after reports the London club has upped their offer for the Uruguayan dynamo from $45 million to $52.8 million (or, £35 million), just $7.5 million short of the number Liverpool would reportedly consider. If that number was a negotiating stance, you have to assume Arsenal’s getting close to hitting Liverpool’s real evaluation.

In the mean time, Gonzalo Higuaín waits in the wing. The Real Madrid man is reportedly ready to complete his prolonged transfer to North London, but before Wenger leaves with the Argentine, he’s taking another trip around the bar, seeing if he can get one of the women he was chaing at the beginning of the night to give him some time before he settles. At last call, it might not be the classiest move, but in world soccer, it can be part of the deal. (Until a team undercuts them, like Bayern just did to Manchester United.)

In the past, “part of the deal” for Arsenal has always been a seeming reluctance to overspend, a product of their economically-driven view of players and part of the reason their record transfer purchase remains £15 million (Santi Cazorla, Andrei Arshavin). Arsenal can clearly spend more, but once you start getting farther from the £6-£10 million purchases Wenger’s comfortable making, heightened, model-breaking demand based on elite player scarcity starts creating inefficiencies.  It’s unclear Wenger’s Arsenal has ever been comfortable with this inefficiencies.

In the past, the reason for that may have been financial as much as philosophical, but with the club’s influx of cash, they can afford to embrace the market’s imperfections in the name of competing for trophies. Nobody said sports markets are perfect (they are usually defined by irrational actors). Perhaps being the most resourceful rational actor in a market would be a good long-term strategy for Arsenal if they had assurances the big boys would themselves out of existence, but by the time that happens (if it ever does), Wenger will have long left North London.

So while Arsenal has money to spend, the question if whether Wenger will capitulate to meeting the prices of an insane market. All indications are he might, but until we actually see the professor sign off on one of these purchases, it’s all theory.

  1. hjworton46 - Jul 15, 2013 at 4:53 AM

    Waste of money trouble maker. That’s all.

    • saebjorn924 - Jul 15, 2013 at 1:33 PM

      That is not all – Suarez is a fantastic talent. There’s a reason why Rodgers and most Liverpool supporters wouldn’t mind retaining the Uruguayan despite his “proclivities.” He would also slot into Arsenal’s attack rather nicely. If not Suarez, will Arsenal fans be satisfied with Giroud leading the attack once again? How many other players can Arsenal get that would represent an upgrade from the Frenchman?

  2. mdac1012 - Jul 15, 2013 at 6:25 AM

    I guess the reporters that cover Arsenal are nicer than the reporters that cover Liverpool.

  3. awad2251 - Jul 15, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    Why would you spend that much money on a player who wants to leave because he thinks the English media has it out for him? Did Arsenal move to another country?

  4. saebjorn924 - Jul 15, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    I’d have to imagine that Suarez’s 40 million sterling price tag is for non-premier league teams and Liverpool might even seek more to transfer him within the premier league (i.e. Torres for 50 to go to Chelsea).

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