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Wenger: Arsenal not close to Suarez, but are prepared to wait

Jul 26, 2013, 7:19 PM EST

Arsenal's manager Wenger looks at his players before their friendly match against Urawa Reds, as part of Arsenal's Asia Tour 2013, in Saitama Reuters

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has spoken publicly for the first time about his attempts to sign Luis Suarez, but in typical Wenger fashion, he used the opportunity to downplay the whirlwind of rumors.

While he believes his club has a long way to go to complete the move, they are dug in and will wait for the player or other club to capitulate.

“We are not close to signing Suarez or anybody else so there’s no reason why I should talk about it” Wenger declared, but he still went on to talk about it.

“We are ready to do quick deals but all the transfers do not depend only on us. But we are prepared to wait. It looks unlikely before the Emirates Cup (next weekend).”

Reports say Arsenal submitted a pot-stirring £40,000,001 bid to trigger a certain clause in Suarez’s contract, but the contents of that clause are not exactly known.

Wenger admitted that other leagues around the world are growing at a rate that has made it harder for English clubs to make big-name signings. “I believe that every club competes on a very high level. What has changed recently is that in Europe some countries like France suddenly have bought some very very talented players who two or three years ago would all have come to England. It makes the chase for talent very difficult.”

However, the Arsenal manager is less concerned with the name of the player as long as he makes an impact on the pitch.  Unfortunately for Arsenal fans, Wenger also said they’re not close to acquiring anyone new, big name or not.

“What we want is not as name but as good player. The name is less important. What is more important is the quality of the player. At the moment I must tell you we are not close to signing anybody.”

Thursday, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers questioned the potential move, saying swapping Liverpool for Arsenal was a lateral move. “I know what we are trying to build and grow, so why would you swap Liverpool to go to Arsenal? I am not sure that it adds up, to be honest. Arsenal has a wonderful history in its own right but Liverpool is one of the biggest clubs in the world.”

The biggest question on other peoples’ minds is why Suarez would want a switch to Arsenal when he has said time and time again this summer he wants out of England all together.  He’s vilified the English media on numerous occasions, and has stated his desire to move overseas.  However, if this is simply a ploy to find a switch to a Champions League club with higher wages, then a move to Arsenal would confirm the use of a public smokescreen.

It is speculated by The Mirror’s John Cross that Arsenal have had talks with Suarez and have informed him to hand in a transfer request, forcing Liverpool’s hand.  However, this is against the player’s wishes, since a formal transfer request would void a clause in his contract assigning a certain portion of any transfer fee Liverpool accept for him be sent to Suarez himself.

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