Wenger: Luis Suarez agreed to join Arsenal…ask him!

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Arsene Wenger has revealed that Arsenal had agreed personal terms with Luis Suarez in 2013 prior to contacting Liverpool with their infamous £40,000,001.

The opportunistic attempt to sign the Uruguayan striker was met with disdain by the Anfield hierarchy at the time, particularly by owner John Henry who gleefully tweeted, “What are they smoking over there at the Emirates?”

Having been persuaded to stay at the Reds for one further season Suarez eventually agreed to join Barcelona. Having also missed out on Gonzalo Higuain, Arsenal settled on signing Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid just before transfer deadline day.

“He was very close (to signing for Arsenal),” Wenger told beIN Sport when asked about the saga during the Interlull.

“We had an agreement with the player. We had been wrongly advised that he had a clause, with a minimal clause, but we had an agreement with the player. You can ask him.

“I’m convinced he wanted to join us and then they sold him. They kept him one more year, improved his contract and promised to sell him the year later to a club abroad.”

Wenger also touched on why he was prepared to spend big money on a player who was so regularly caught up in controversy, including bans for biting and racist abuse.

“It’s not normal,” reflected the Frenchman. “You cannot accept that. He had some behaviours that were shocking but I think as well you don’t see them anymore since two, three years.

“He got rid of all the things that were a handicap for him and today you don’t see that anymore. He’s still on borderline with what the strikers do well, you know, go down in the penalty box but you want that from an intelligent striker.

“Overall I think he got rid of all the rest and rightly so and he deserved to be punished before and now you don’t even expect it anymore from him.”

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98 Comments on "Wenger: Luis Suarez agreed to join Arsenal…ask him!"

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John C

Interesting, Wenger’s clearly admitting to negotiating with a player under contract with whom we didn’t have permission to do so, does anyone know if we can be charged with tapping up this far after the event?

David

He never said he was dealing with the player directly. I say it went through his agent, who should have been fired for wrongly informing us and making us look like fools.

ArsenalManitou

No, there was a 40mil release clause but Liverpool said FU Suarez, we’e not honouring it, take us to court. They knew that would drag on and on and he went with their improved terms and promise of release the next year.

John C

Player/player representatives same thing, Wenger said he agreed so there must have been some direct contact with the player, otherwise he wouldn’t have made that statement. If i was Liverpool i would definitely be looking at my options regardless.

More Wenger hubris may have the opposite of it’s intended effect and make him look even more incompetent.

Bobby chapman

Not true in the slightest. Agreeing personal terms are usually done though agents with no personal contact.

John C

“We had an agreement with the player. …… but we had an agreement with the player. You can ask him.”

The quote is quite clear who the agreement was with

John C

He said it twice!

SdotK

This sounds like a little bit of nonsense.

You are not permitted to negotiate a contract with a player without the club’s permission. Nevertheless, you can always find an agreement of intent.
F.e.: “Would you join, under the right terms, if your club lets you?”
Also, if there is a release clause, how else would you be able to activate it, without asking the player first?
A release clause is exactly the thing which makes it possible to contact a player before contacting the club. What else would it be for?

John C

SdotK your comment is contradictory, you can’t do one without the other

Brihaspati

Dude. If we had Suarez it would have been amazing… even if Wenger offered him Ivan’s little toe to bite off. What are you on about?

Bobby chapman

I dont think youre grasping it. If i asked your dad to ask you if you wanted to come out and play football, and he asked you and you said yes, I would have an agreement with you without direct contact. ‘we had an agreement with him’ does not mean wenger had a sit down with suarez.

Bobby chapman

I also cant believe youre commenting all over here without grasping the concept of a release clause. You have permission to negotiate once a release clause is activated. The reason Liverpool cannot mention ‘tapping up’ is because 1) Its not tapping up in any sense of the word and 2) that would mean they would have to admit that they didnt honour a legal obligation.

goonerink

them admitting to the debacle would in turn bring about an investigation to his contract which they in turn didnt honour, so they wont say shit…

John C

No it wouldn’t, the contract was between Suarez and Liverpool it had nothing to do with Arsenal.

Futsboller

Boy, do you ever hate Wenger!

John C

I don’t hate anyone but if that’s how you want to interpret it you can

Goonerink

It does when there is a clause relating to clubs such as arsenal. And an investigation usually encompasses all facets otherwise you aren’t looking at all the facts….irónico no?

Too Drunk To Be Offside
Too Drunk To Be Offside

“Player/player representatives same thing!”-

You should look up the intricacies of the Figo Transfer from Barca to Madrid.

John C

Why?

Too Drunk To Be Offside
Too Drunk To Be Offside

Because Figo’s agent screwed him by entering into a pre-contract agreement with Florentino Perez that Figo will join Madrid if Perez became President.

TheSkins

How is it “tapping up” if there was a (very) public offer made to Liverpool?

John C

You must have permission to talk to a player, the offer was very publicly rejected

Fletcher

You can’t see any thing good in Wenger..can you?

John C

All i’m asking is could this statement get him into unintended trouble, it doesn’t require further analysis than that

Brihaspati

No you are trying to make Santa Claus evil

IamaGoober

Does anyone know in what context these comments were made? Like did a Journo specifically ask about it, or did Arsene just bring it up?

If it is the latter, it kinda feels like he is making a point – like ‘I can attract the big players – remember the time when,’ kind of thing. Does anyone else get that impression too? Because it seems kind of random that he would choose to come out with this now, other then to sort of say ‘look, I am capable of spending big money on a player, players still want to play under me at Arsenal.’

With all the news paper stories circulating about him already signing a new deal etc.. when I read interviews like the above, I am starting to think that genuinely might be the case – which would obviously be a disaster.

Thaigoon

the clause in Suarez contract said “for an offer higher than £40 millions L.Suarez can negotiate with the buying club”. funny how they ditched putting a real release clause by only giving their player the permition to talk with no real necessarity to sell. bad on Suarez agent though it turned out best for him now that he ended up a beast for Barcelona.

Dan Hunter

Why didn’t he just bid 1 penny above the release clause? 99p would have come in use…

salmok

is there any story you wont angle for your clearly anti-wenger agenda?

Georgeycharles

Interesting, an Arsenal fan who prefers to stir shit, rather than support a genuine attempt to prise a world class player from one of our rivals.

John C

Not really, i just know a brazen PR stunt when i see one.

Arsene Wenger is his own biggest fan and is never shy to tell the world how much he brings the club, or in this case, how many top players hes failed to sign.

I’m all ears if you can give me a reason why he’s said these thing?

Georgeycharles

So what​ if it is a bit of PR ? I like that we were in for Suarez. It didn’t work out in the end, but the attempt showed some of the ambition and ruthlessness​ we fans want to see more of. You don’t try, you don’t get. I’d rather support that effort myself and leave the snide comments to rival supporters, or assholes like Adrian Durham.

John C

No, it showed that once again he was incompetent and couldn’t sign yet another top player. It makes him look bad.

Georgeycharles

There you go again

Yankee Gooner

Speaking of repeated public statements that make one look bad…

Brihaspati

I think it’s a shame that no one else at the club has shown his ambition or (if you wish) egged him on to buy Drogba / Kante / Suarez / Mahrez / Xabi Alonso / whoever when they could be had.

There are many people at Arsenal (scouts, coaches, CEOs, directors) who lack spine and let Arsene take on all this heat relentlessly.

People expect overt, garrulous leaders on the pitch and the touchline but what about behind the scenes?

I am intensely disappointed in Bould. For a legendary defender to have this team wobble like poolballs in every single match under his watch …it’s shameful.

Regardless of Wenger stays or goes, I’d like to see new faces and more dynamic personalities who can better help the manager (Wenger or the new guy) to cope with the pressure and play a devil’s advocate when the situation demands.

Goonerestgooner

“He was very close” said Wenger WHEN ASKED ABOUT THE SAGA DURING THE INTERLULL.

There you go.

(Sorry for the caps)

KR gooner

Does it matter anymore?

Southpaw

We almost signed him… And almost everybody else.

Cas

And you didnt offer the scousers enough to let him go.

ChrisM

I do love a good story about a player we tried and failed to sign.

John C

Wenger loves playing some of his greatest hits

Maniac

Easily the dodgiest transfer saga of recent years. We were cheated by Liverpool, as confirmed by John W. Henry later on, and yet we are ridiculed by all for the buyout clause offer that was clearly the most sensible approach. Basically all we learnt was that football contracts aren’t even worth the paper they’re written on.

poly

I never understood the mocking for bidding £40,000,001. If that’s what the release clause stipulated why would anyone ever bid more?

John C

Because it’s cheap

Jdog

So John, when you walk into a bar and buy a beer which happens to be on offer, do you pay double the asking price just because you think it is too cheap?

John C

No, but i might leave a large tip if the service is good.

More pertinently though the retail price of beer isn’t hidden by a confidentiality clause between the wholesaler and vendor

Southpaw

Man youre being ridiculous. Our negotiators may be in faut for not taking the case to EPL or UEFA but only because that offer was by all means enough. Even Suarez and Liverpool chief said so the next season. I dont get your tant all over this page.

Cape Town Gooner

I don’t think we could take the case anywher , because we weren’t a party to the contract which was breached, which was between Liverpool and Suarez. He was the only one who could have taken it legal.

Jussayin

In today’s transfer window the price on paper is usually cheap so John C makes sense. Wenger carries on as though people are obliged to play fair. That ain’t today’s football though.

Brihaspati

He picks a fight with the bartender regardless.

indrossi

Scarlett Johansson said she’d marry me, ask her.

beagleboy

Oh yes and talking to Milano is like chatting to a super model. Straight from the Adebayor School of Communication ><

Next comment, please.

dr Strange

One of the biggest fuck ups in the history of football transfers. Wish we had an owner like Henry who told us to fuck off when we acted like amatures.

Jdog

No. It wasn’t. The clause was 40 million. Arsenal wanted Suarez, Suarez wanted Arsenal. Arsenal offered the buy out price in his contract, Liverpool dis-honoured his contract and then made us look like cunts in the media. Arsenal were at fault for nothing in this transfer, and did what anyone else would do when presented with a bargain.

NewManagerAFC

We pay an extra 10m and he’s most likely ours even 15m. The best striker in the world ours. Wouldnt that have been a bargain still? Alonso… we refused to pay 3m more for him. The more Wenger defends himself the more I want him to go. ”Sometimes he (Wenger) keeps us from paying up more” It’s not the exact quote but I remember IG saying something like this before.

Bobby chapman

What i dont understand is most of the media saying ‘dont bid 40 mil and 1 pound, if you really want him bid £60!’. How much of a moron do you need to be to bid £20 million over a legal release clause?

we\'ve done it again

See no reason to add 20mil but don’t be stupid and add 1 pound ffs!.

Unless you have a very cordial relationship with the seller.

The clause wasn’t a release clause (as the club was wrongly informed), it was a “come to the table for negotiation” clause. Wenger clearly states that they had the wrong info,

Foncused

I still don’t understand how we get such ridicule about this saga (they were talking about it on the radio again two days ago). If there is a release clause, why would we bid above it? Do people regularly go into Tesco and offer a fiver for a £2 box of cereal?

SdotK

Especially the kind that bites back!

kaius

John Henry’s comment is exactly what we should have said about United when they came for the “little boy inside me”.

beagleboy

In difference to ‘pool/Suarez there was no money in the kitty to improve van Persie’s terms. So off he went to Satan’s den.

bdagooner

With hindsight it appears that Suarez made the right choice for his career.

It is what it is.

Jasonissimo

Look at the following seasons for the players who left Arsenal for greener pastures from about ’06-’13. If my memory serves, almost all won the league and/or Champions League soon after. Hard truths to take as an Arsenal fan, but the club was cash poor and our top players figured out it was holding the club back in those years at least. (It wasn’t that hard to deduce!)

bdagooner

I suspect that Suarez isn’t regretting how it all played out.

Southpaw

Haha. 4 people are sitting there thinking Suarez dreams to be in a mess like this every weekend while he’s wishfully watching Wenger throw hands around in frusrtaion.

Rachid

What I find most interesting about this article is Wenger saying “you want that from an intelligent striker” with regard to diving. Fine that he thinks it but she shouldn’t admit it because he’s only making a rod for his own back when he complains about other players diving against us.

a different George

I think, in context, Wenger was saying something like this: Suarez bit people, racially abused players, and dove. The first two are unacceptable, and he has been able to control them. The diving continues (though perhaps not as often), but diving is fairly common for strikers–it is not an example of socially unacceptable behavior like biting and racism.

Gooneron

Despite his attitude, Suarez is a very good player. Would have loved to have him.

GunnerWinalot

I think regardless of whether or not he’d signed for us, he would probably have engineered a a move to Barca a year or 2 later!

Jasonissimo

Well, maybe not if he had helped us win the league, and then we bought well the next season. But, I doubt we would have won that season with +Suarez, -Ozil.

Andy Mack

Apparently he always made it clear that he’d go to Spain if a top team approached him as his Spanish wife was homesick whenever she wasn’t there… If he’d joined us then it would only have been for the one year…

Jasonissimo

As I said elsewhere, I’m glad we didn’t sign him.

Ben

Of course Suarez has stooped biting as he is now settled. Think about it,

Bite at Ajax = Liverpool transfer
Bite at Liverpool and at world cup for Uraguay (Whilst still a Liverpool player)= Transfer to Barca (His dream), All of a sudden the biting stops…

He worked and bit his way to the top.

a different George

I have an alternate explanation that fits the facts a bit better: he had/has serious psychological problems that interfered with his immense football talent. It appears that he has been able to deal with some of those problems, or at least their public manifestations.

Ben

With all due respect why does your explanation fit the facts better?

Why where these “psychological” problems only manifesting on a football pitch? With no reports of biting happening in his regular life?

Why does he only bite during transfer windows or when they are fast approaching?

And now that him and his Spanish wife have reached sunny Spain his “psychological condition” has evaporated? Hmmm… Cleaver man me thinks.

LEFT08

Suarez should have been banned from playing football in England ever again for racial abuse. He’s a twat. Glad the deal fell through.

we\'ve done it again

This is a football club (you know, that’s supposed to win things?).

Its not a monastery or a temple. I’m sure most of our players do things you would be ashamed of. It really just amounts to trying to console yourself.

LEFT08

Football clubs have values. The entire sport represents values. His behavior is despicable and I wouldn’t want him wearing an Arsenal shirt. It’s not all about winning the league mate.

Lord Bendtner

Yes, he doesn’t bite people’s necks anymore.
However, as someone who has been watching few spanish games recently, I do recall a match perhaps a few months ago where Suarez did something really dirty.
The ball was in the air, and there was a defender on him who was going to try to head the ball away before Suarez could receive it from the air.
Mr. Suarez looks back at the defender who’s just about to close in on him, and then Mr.Suarez sticks out his butt so that when the defender (who btw had his eyes on the ball as it was coming down) came close to him, Mr.Suarez’s stuck out butt just about managed to make contact with the defender. And thereafter, Mr. Suarez went to the ground, looked at the referee and a Barcelona freekick was awarded in the opponent’s half.
Mr. Suarez is a dirty player. There are players like Joey Barton who are insanely dirty and they show it out openly on the pitch. Then there are the ones who are dirty and sly, I hate those kinds of players. It aggravates me, but then again, perhaps Barcelona, a team with players who do at times like to dive or be theatrical (youtube: pique puyol lighter incident), are a perfect fit for a player like Mr. Suarez.

I, however, will never appreciate Suarez as a player.

Lord Bendtner

*It goes without saying that I neither respect or idolize Joey Barton or his methods of aggression

Corona X

What about Bendtner’s methods of… Well, is there a word for his pants/taxi/pizza/vandalism heroics?! ☺️

Lord Bendtner

That never happened. Everyone imagined it

Southpaw

I have a strong feeling things would go very differently had us signed him or Higauin that season instead of another tiny midfielder. They’d fill the RvP shaped hole in front while our own bunch of young talented playmakers would have had the chance to play the position that tiny play maker never fulfilled.

Thierry bergkamp

This new layout looks nice

santori

As always with ANY contract, you have several issues not all entirely in Wenger’s control.

1) The player had agreed which is significant.

2) The club however was being recalcitrant. We could rescue the position even after the 1 quid F up but the club decided not to sell to a PL “rival’ (even if they have not won a title for 25 years go figure)

3) Whoever advised us on his minimal release did us a disservice.

4) I think we could still have made sufficient play for Suarez but the bid would have to be substantially higher to rescue the situation. However, this was the Higuain year, we were also keeping an eye on a potential late bid for Ozil. Without knowledge of where that price would land, I don’t think Wenger was comfortable chasing prices too high early on.

It all points to the complex situations in the market.

This isn’t a grocery store with fixed prices and plenty of the same item.

This is the problem with most commentators (who have never worked in the market) and fans. They don’t understand the art of the haggle.

The fans in particular are prey to the simplistic view of the world the media is all too ready to propogate and sow ‘disaster’ complex with.

bdagooner

Fans don’t generally understand how most of our peer clubs make it look much easier than we do. Only Arsenal can make transfers look so hard.

Too Drunk To Be Offside
Too Drunk To Be Offside

I don’t know why it is so surprising for him that ‘Pool didn’t sell their star striker to a rival.

Its a policy he should have followed too. Kolo Toure, van Cuntsie, Crapebayor, Cashri, etc. all went to teams that were coming for Arsenal. The naivety of selling you best players to direct rivals, just what was Wenger thinking.

salmok

when cesc went to barcelona wenger was screaming from asia tours ‘we can not sell our best players and pretend we are still a big club’ ..nasri followed…

that was his warning shot to owners from afar….

selling to direct rivals is irrelevant when your emphasis is repayment.

sure it hurts as a fan to see it/witness it but in a business perspective during that time we were selling even our own mothers to bounce back….

so i disagree with you with blaming only wenger for what was owners policy…….

Brihaspati

Wenger was thinking I need some change if I’m to fill this ‘van Cuntsie’ shaped hole. Also, the club needed to put its foot down – Bredon Fucking Rodgers had a boss with balls.

Another 2 years(it hurts)
Another 2 years(it hurts)

There is no point to bring up something like this now. What matters is how we keep Ozil and Sanchez with new contract. With 1 year left this summer, we’ll end up sell them around £30-35m each.

Andy Mack

He’s just answering a journalists questions…

Lula da Gilberto

Never understood why people got so worked up with the bid being £1 into the clause. The idea that it would offend the elites at Liverpool to the point that they stop the transfer is absurd. Surely if the intelligence was correct and there was a clause for £40,000,000, then any bid over that takes the decision out of the clubs hands and leaves the decision with the player. That’s the basis of a clause.

So unless it offends the player (and why the hell would it offend anyone if they fancy the move?), then it is exactly the right course of action to take. Granted if the intelligence is wrong, then it is problematic but I see no harm in putting in a bid. Not least in the firm and very realistic understanding that it won’t be the £1 insult that changes the minds of the Liverpool elites to agree to sell their best asset by a margin to their direct rivals. Too much was made of this at the time by people who probably should have known better.

Isthereacultofwenger

Wenger wants a legacy like Sir Alex. Might have had one if he were more ruthless. I respect his class but that kind of makes him the wrong man for the job in today’s football.

yagaru

Yawn! So what Wenger! Is he trying to piss fans off even more?!?!! Yet another failed, embarrassing attempt to sign a player by not offering enough money. That’s the Arsenal way…

Kevin

So what if he had agreed? You are now regretting for your not being seriously.

J bookie

How long have it being now who the F*** cares he’s just trying to give people something else to talk about

Andy Mack

He’s just answering a journalists questions…

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