Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted the club’s bid to sign Luis Suarez in 2014 was “ludicrous”.
Suarez had just missed out on the Premier League title with Liverpool at that time, scoring 31 goals in 33 appearances as Brendan Rodgers’ side blew their lead at the top with three games remaining.
The Uruguay striker’s breathtaking form impressed Arsenal, nevertheless, who were keen to prise him away from Anfield in the following summer window.
Wenger claimed a deal was agreed with Suarez and his agent, yet the Gunners sparked outrage in Merseyside when they tabled a bid worth £40,000,001 bid – having been told Liverpool would be forced to accept any offer over £40million.
Relations were strained between the two clubs as a result, with Reds chief John W Henry saying: “What do you think they're smoking over there at the Emirates?”
But in his new book ‘My Life in Red and White’, which has been serialised by the Mirror, Wenger has revealed the clause never actually existed in the first place.
“In 2014 [the 2013/14 season] we were looking to get Luis Suarez over,” the Frenchman said.
“We had an agreement with the player and his agent. But the agent claimed that there was a clause: with an offer above £40million, Liverpool would be obliged to let the player go.
“But thanks to an indiscretion within Liverpool, I found out that his clause never existed. To check this was true, we offered £40,000,001.
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“This may have seemed ludicrous, I admit. But Liverpool did not want to sell Suarez, they could afford to keep him and there was already an offer from Barca on the horizon.”
Suarez went on to secure a £65million move for Barcelona that summer, where he plied his trade up until last month.
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He bagged an impressive 198 goals in 283 appearances for the Catalans, winning four Spanish titles and the Champions League before departing for rivals Atletico Madrid this summer.
New Barca boss Ronald Koeman deemed Suarez surplus to requirements at the Nou Camp, which irked good friend Lionel Messi.
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