Arsene Wenger has described Arsenal’s infamous £40m + £1 offer for then-Liverpool striker Luis Suarez’ as ‘ludicrous’.
Speaking in his new book ‘Arsene Wenger: My Life in Red and White’, the revolutionary former Arsenal manager revealed the club agreed personal terms with Suarez, but failed to agree a fee with Liverpool.
And to check whether rumours of the Reds being forced to accept an offer of more than £40m were true, Wenger sanctioned a bid of that figure plus one pound.
With no such clause existing, the Gunners were left with egg on their face as the offer was resoundingly rejected and Liverpool owner John Henry memorably tweeted questioning whether those at the Emirates were in their right minds.
Wenger mistake on mythical clause
As reported in The Mirror, Wenger said: “In 2014 [the 2013/14 season] we were looking to get Luis Suarez over.
“We had an agreement with the player and his agent. The agent claimed there was a clause: with an offer above £40million, Liverpool would be obliged to let the player go.
“Thanks to an indiscretion within Liverpool, I found out his clause never existed. To check this was true, we offered £40,000,001 – this may have seemed ludicrous, I admit.
“But Liverpool did not want to sell Suarez, they could afford to keep him and there was already an offer from Barca on the horizon.”
Transfer regret for Arsenal
Prolific Uruguayan striker Suarez was keen for a move away after Liverpool finished outside the European places in Brendan Rodgers’ first season as manager.
The 33-year-old, now at Atletico Madrid after leaving Barcelona in acrimonious circumstances, stayed put despite his wish for Champions League football.
He went on to score 31 goals in 33 appearances for Liverpool before moving to Barcelona for about £65m the following season, leaving Wenger and Arsenal to rue what they could have had.