Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is understood to be willing to break the bank, and his transfer policy, in order to bring success to the Emirates next season.
Currently, Arsenal’s record transfer fee stands at £13m from back in 2000, when they bought Sylvain Wiltord. Manchester United’s stands at just over £30m for Dimitar Berbatov. City’s is £38m, for Sergio Aguero, and Chelsea’s is of course the £50m they forked out for Fernando Torres.
These figures highlight the financial constraints that Arsenal have long been performing under, selling their top stars – Fabregas, Van Persie, Nasri – and replacing them with solid, if unspectacular players – Podolski, Giroud, Ramsey.
It also makes Arsenal’s consistent ability to qualify for Champions League football even more impressive – currently standing at 16 seasons in a row.
If, as appears likely, Arsenal break their record transfer fee, it will signal a shift in dynamics at the Emirates. The self-funded stadium has now largely been paid off, freeing up valuable transfer funds for Wenger, and it looks like Arsenal are already in position to reinvest in a top-class striker.
Only a few days ago the deal for Gonzalo Higuain looked to be sorted, and although it has stalled somewhat, it is still expected that the Argentine forward will sign from Madrid in a move expected to cost the London club around £23m.
Higuain would certainly offer Arsenal a focal point in attack, a lethal finisher who netted 107 goals in 190 games, a phenomenal haul given he was rarely the first choice centre forward at the Bernabeu.
Given the interest in Higuain, the bid for Suarez - believed to be £30m - is an interesting move for Arsenal. Liverpool rejected it instantly, and it is reasonable to see it as a speculative move, engineered with the hope of forcing Real Madrid’s hand, to push the Higuain deal forward through fear of Arsenal turning their attentions away from the striker.
Moreover, the bid for Suarez, however speculative, would have been designed to force Madrid to formalise their interest in the Liverpool forward which, in turn, would make the sale of Higuain even more probable.
What is clear in this potential merry-go-round of top-class strikers, is that Arsenal are looking to add a star forward to their already strong squad.
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