Gunners move step closer to finally landing their No 1 transfer target of the summer.
Arsenal are on the verge of sealing a club-record £47.5 million deal for wantaway Liverpool front man Luis Suarez following the Uruguayan’s most recent outburst about his future at Anfield.
The 26-year-old gave an impassioned interview to both the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian on Wednesday morning detailing his exact reasons for wanting to quit the Merseyside giants this summer in order to move to a club competing in the Uefa Champions League next season.
So far, the Gunners have had two bids for the Uruguay international rejected by the Reds, although the second of those offers, valued at £40m plus £1, was still enough to trigger a release clause in the striker’s current contract at Liverpool so as to enable Suarez to enter into negotiations with Arsenal over a possible move to north London.
However, despite the Reds’ insistence so far that their star player will not be allowed to leave Merseyside for a sum of less than the £55m that saw Edinson Cavani join Paris Saint-Germain earlier this summer, Suarez’s latest public utterances on the matter have now finally persuaded the club to allow the forward to join Arsenal.
The Gunners and the Uruguay attacker’s agent, Pere Guardiola, the brother of Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola, have already met for face-to-face talks in a central London hotel over the weekend to thrash out Suarez’s personal terms on his move to the Emirates, with the two parties agreeing a five-year £150,000-per-week deal.
That contract will see the former Ajax hit man earn more than his current salary at Anfield, where Suarez picks up £120,000 per week after agreeing last August to sign an extension until June 30 2018 on his deal with the Merseysiders.
And now the two clubs are set to reach a compromise figure of £47.5m for the playmaker, who has registered 51 goals and 24 assists in just 96 matches for Liverpool since January 2011, after the Reds accepted that it was going against their own best interests to keep hold of a disgruntled player at the club next season.
But despite seeking a British-record transfer fee of £55m for their prize asset, Liverpool owner John W Henry and chairman Tom Werner are understood to still be happy to settle for a figure of £47.5m, which will see the Fenway Sports Group make an eye-catching profit of £24.7m on the player they bought from Ajax two-and-a-half years ago.