Luis Suarez has confirmed once again that he wanted to sign for Arsenal in 2013, prompting that £40m+£1 bid from the Gunners.
Speaking to the media this week, Luis Suarez confirmed he really did want to join Arsenal in the summer of 2013, to play for Arsene Wenger’s side in the Champions League.
“That year wasn’t as good as we wanted, but the ideas were already pretty clear,” Suarez recalled. “So then the 2012/13 season goes by, and I wanted to sign for Arsenal, since Arsenal had played in the Champions League every season prior to that.”
We all know what happened next, with Arsenal bidding £40,000,001 for the striker and Liverpool refusing to sell – despite the fact he had a release clause.
Liverpool owner John W. Henry later admitted the release clause was genuine, and they just decided not to honour it.
With the club rejecting the bid they should have accepted, Suarez had conversations with Brendan Rodgers and Steven Gerrard, who convinced him to stop pushing for a move and stay with them instead.
“I had some further discussions with the coach, as well as with Gerrard,” Suarez continued. “He was the one that convinced me. I told him I wanted to keep being successful, that I wanted to play in the Champions League.
“So, he said to me, ‘If this year we keep improving as we have been, and you’re at the level you have to be, next year you’ll be able to play for Bayern Münich, Real Madrid, Barcelona, or whatever club you like.
“You’ll have the chance to choose, but stay for one more year.'”
It’s hard to say whether Gerrard still would have been able to change Suarez’s mind if the striker had a bid from Arsenal accepted and a contract offer on the table.
Liverpool had no European football that year, so it seems like the move would have been pretty tempting if the club hadn’t shut it down at source.