Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Arsenal transfer target Luis Suarez tells Liverpool he won't play in any more pre-season games

Luis Suarez has told Liverpool he does not want to play in any pre-season friendlies until his future is resolved.

Suarez has pulled out of Wednesday night's friendly in Norway against Valerenga, and Liverpool are insisting it is because of a foot injury.

But the striker is determined to force through a move to Arsenal and does not want to be involved as his desire to leave Liverpool becomes increasingly focused.

Suarez was sent for scans by the Reds' medics following training -although he drove himself home from their Melwood HQ.

no more friendlies

We understand the Uruguayan's advisers have tried to set a deadline of August 15 for his transfer saga to be completed.

The 26-year-old has insisted he does not want to play in any friendlies between now and then - when the Premier League season starts and he resumes his 10-game suspension for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic.

As well as Wednesday's match, the Anfield giants go to Dublin next Saturday for a prestige meeting with Scottish champions Celtic before they open their Prem campaign against Stoke on August 17.

Suarez has also knocked back manager Brendan Rodgers' attempts to hold peace talks, because he is angriest with the Liverpool gaffer and chief executive Ian Ayre over what he regards as broken promises.

The Suarez camp insist there was a "gentleman's agreement" that if any Champions League club came in with an offer of more than £35million, he would be allowed to go irrespective of any clause in his contract.

Liverpool, meanwhile, are certain that the notorious £40m clause in Suarez's contract does not force them to sell.

They also insist he is not for sale and have already rejected Arsenal's bid of £40m plus an extra pound - which the Gunners believed would activate the get-out.

Suarez and his advisers have now taken the next steps by making it clear he does not want to play and, as we revealed, is considering legal action and could also ask for a transfer to force the issue.

Arsenal are very hopeful that a deal can be done with manager Arsene Wenger even suggesting they are looking for an "amicable" solution, although that looks unlikely because of the fall-out between Liverpool and Suarez.

There is a sense at the Emirates that if they can push the Suarez deal through, it will trigger other arrivals as it will show their other big-name targets that they mean business.

Arsenal are still in for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan with Bayern Munich's Luiz Gustavo as a back-up option.

Dortmund do not want to sell, but an offer of £20m-plus may tempt them.

Wenger is also keen, as we revealed in June, on Freiburg's Germany Under-21 international Matthias Ginter as he can play in defence or midfield.

The deadline for signings to be eligible for Arsenal's two-legged tie to decide if they qualify for the Champions League group stages is August 12.

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