The striker has told Liverpool that he wants to join the Gunners and is ready to lodge an official request to engineer his departure from the Merseyside club
By Wayne Veysey
The striker has told Anfield officials he wants to leave the club and join Arsenal, who made a bid worth €49 million for him on Monday.
However, Liverpool insist that Suarez is not for sale and have let it be known to the player’s camp that he will have to lodge an official transfer request in writing in order to leave Merseyside.
Sources have told Goal that the Uruguayan is now ready do so as he steps up his plans to remove one of the obstacles to his exit.
This raises the prospect that Suarez will concede bonuses and other financial triggers but, with the player so keen to leave, Liverpool will face a decision over whether to begin negotiating a fee for his sale with Arsenal.
The Gunners lodged a second bid for the forward on Monday, made up of €41m up front and supplemented by €8m of add-ons.
This has been rejected by Liverpool but it is understood that Arsene Wenger will ‘pull out all the stops’ in an attempt to land Suarez, who has become the main focus of his attention as he attempts to make a marquee striker signing.
Arsenal are believed to be confident that the Uruguayan is keen on a move to Emirates Stadium, and have now gone into completely unchartered territory to capture him.
The offer, which is comfortably a club record, is nearly double the €27.1m offer the Gunners made earlier this month for Gonzalo Higuain, who is putting the finishing touches to a €35m move to Napoli.
Arsenal are also preparing what is believed to be a lucrative package for a player who signed a €116,000-a-week four-year deal last summer.
Liverpool are fighting to hold on to the striker, who has spoken frequently this summer of his interest in a move, most specifically to Real Madrid. However, the Spanish giants have yet to make a bid for him and Arsenal are currently the only club in the running for his signature.
Earlier, Suarez made an 18-minute cameo appearance as a substitute on as he returned to the Liverpool team for the first time since April 21. In front of 95,000 fans at the MCG, he set up the second goal in the Merseysiders’ 2-0 win.
Brendan Rodgers has compared Suarez’s value to that of Edinson Cavani, who joined Paris Saint-Germain last week for €64m, but the Anfield manager has stopped short of completely ruling out the Uruguayan’s departure, merely saying every player has his value and he will only leave “if something drastic happens”.
A bid rising to €49m for a 26-year-old who is banned for the first six games of the new season might be regarded as tempting by Liverpool’s America-based owners Fenway Sports Group but John W Henry seemingly Tweeted to ridicule Arsenal’s latest bid for Suarez, writing: “What do you think they are smoking over there at Emirates?”
Suarez has a €46m clause in his contract which his advisers believe entitles him to ask for permission to speak to any club that matches the price. But Liverpool claim they only have to inform Suarez and the clause does not oblige them to sell.
Arsenal believe they have been given enough encouragement by the Uruguayan’s representatives that he is keen to move to Emirates Stadium in search of Champions League football.
The Gunners’ second offer has been timed to coincide with Suarez returning to pre-season training following his extended summer break. The striker linked up with Liverpool in Melbourne on Sunday for the second leg of their pre-season tour.
Suarez has emerged as Wenger’s first choice ahead of Higuain and Wayne Rooney, who is the subject of strong interest from Chelsea.
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