Just when you think you’ve heard all the rumours, from out of left field comes the one that nobody expected. And I think the one for this transfer window has just drawn its first breath. The Sun has broken the story that Luis Suarez may be on the way to Arsenal. The red top has reported that bookmakers William Hill have refused to take any further bets on the transfer, after what is described as “a series of huge outlays in Spain.” The Sun report William Hill’s spokesman, Rupert Adams, as saying “It would suggest that they have heard something substantial.”
It’s one of those moves that makes you do a quick double-take. OK, we all know that there’s a strong possibility of Suarez quitting Liverpool, but the talk was that the reason for he wanted a transfer was to leave England – not the north west. Further, of all the managers who have taken on errant talents, Wenger doesn’t really fit the profile, and do Arsenal want all of the baggage that comes with Suarez’s undoubted talent. The other question is whether the Gunners would be prepared to stump up the kind of wages that the Uruguayan hit man would demand. Finally, would Liverpool want to sell him to another Premier League club. So, there’s all the doubts and queries, but if people are laying out proper brass on the deal happening, as Mr Adams contends, there must be something in it. So, let’s consider why it might happen.
Firstly, it appears that the people piling in on the move are from Spain. The constant link over the last few weeks for Suarez has been with a move to the Barnabeu. Has something broken there, with a deal not being possible and somebody knows there’s an Arsenal option on the table? The player has espoused a desire for Champions’ League football. Now whilst the club have had a couple of narrow squeaks, Arsenal’s record of qualifying for the competition is second to none. But what about the club itself? Why would Arsenal want to sign the player – aside of course from the fact that Suarez is an exceptional footballer. Well, the absence of a genuine goal-getting leader of the line has been acutely felt since the departure of Robin van Persie, and the Dutchman has illustrated at Manchester United, just what a difference having a top notch front man can make. Secondly, with PSG whispering French sweet nothings into Arsene Wenger’s ear for a return to his home country, if the club want to persuade the manager to stay, putting out the brass for a major coup may be just the thing to swing it.
Personally, I have to say that I’m still less than convinced that this is a realistic prospect, but football makes fools of us all time and time again, and if people are laying out big enough buckets of brass to force Hill’s to close the market, they must be convinced. But here’s a tip for you if you think this is going to happen. A quick look on Skybet this morning shows them still having a market on the move, and priced at an enticing 11/4. Other odds are also probably available. So, if you fancy going with it, there’s your options, or if you know anybody in Spain, have a word!