Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger today put an end to one of the summer’s longest-running and emotionally charged transfer sagas – that of want-away striker Luis Suarez.
Speaking to reporters after Arsenal’s 3-0 Champions League win over Fenerbahce, Wenger was asked if a deal for striker Suarez was dead.
“Yes. Absolutely no chance of that,” Wenger responded, definitively confirming a move for Liverpool’s controversial Uruguayan is no longer on the cards.
The response to this news is likely to be mixed among the Arsenal faithful – while Suarez’s talent is irrefutable, he carries massive baggage, along with the 6-game remainder of a 10-game ban, punishment for an act of near-cannibalism of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.
The fact remains that Arsenal have failed to sign another of their manifold summer targets. However, Wenger hinted that there was still business to be done.
“The transfer market starts for me now and a lot of activity will happen between now and September 2. From August 21 until September 2 you have 12 days, so a lot will happen. It starts now.”
According to the BBC, some of Wenger’s self-defined transfer window could be spent securing deals for Real Madrid duo Karim Benzema and Angel Di Maria, a striker and winger respectively.
Wenger is a long-time admirer of the Benzema, and could shell out as much as £40m to bring his compatriot to the Emirates.
Di Maria has been linked with Arsenal in the past and would be a valuable addition, especially given the recent injury of Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain.
Arsenal are also thought to be keen to add a go to a weakened midfield, with Sevilla’s Geoffrey Kondogbia and Newcastle’s Yohan Cabaye among supposed targets.
“Quality-wise we don’t need anybody but number-wise we are short as I told you yesterday,” Wenger said. “We lost Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arteta and Diaby – three international midfielders. That is why we are short. We tried to bring one in but we are working on that. You have to understand there is still a long way to go.”