Arsene Wenger has been discussing Arsenal’s failed move for Luis Suarez in 2013 and says he is convinced the Uruguay international wanted to move to the Emirates.
The Gunners famously bid £40 million plus £1 for the striker in the hope of activating his release clause but saw their offer turned down by Liverpool.
Suarez then stayed at Anfield, enjoying a superb season, before moving to Barcelona but Wenger insists Arsenal had agreed a deal with the Uruguay international.
“It was very close, we had an agreement with the player,” Wenger told beIN SPORTS. “We had been wrongly advised that he had a clause, you know, with a minimum [price]. But we had an agreement with the player. You can ask him
“I’m convinced that he wanted to join us. And then they kept him for one more year, they improved his contract and promised to sell him a year later to a club abroad.”
Despite his undoubted quality Suarez is a played who divides opinion due to his propensity for biting opponents and also having been found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra.
However, Wenger feels that he has managed to eradicate that from his game while still remaining one of the top strikers in European football.
“He had some behaviours that were shocking, but you don’t see them anymore since two or three years,” Wenger said. “He got rid of all the things that were a handicap for him. And today you don’t see that anymore.
“He is still on the borderline with what a striker does well, like go down in the penalty box. But you want that from an intelligent striker, to provoke. But I think he got rid of all the rest.”
After starring for Liverpool, Suarez has gone on to another level at Barcelona winning two Liga titles and the Champions League and, frustratingly, is one of a growing number of top stars that Wenger is happy to admit the club have missed out on.