Exclusive: former Arsenal boss predicts Gunners will sign Liverpool star – eventually

11:55 01 August 2013

Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez

Archant

Former Arsenal boss Terry Neill is confident his old club will make a big signing this summer – but has urged fans to show more patience.

Liverpool have confirmed the Gunners have lodged a £40,000,001 bid for Luis Suarez, who is believed to have privately expressed a preference to move to the Emirates.

But so far the Merseysiders have shown a reluctance to sell the Uruguay striker for under £50m – and rebuffed the offer.

Since the weekend, the Gunners are 6/4 with bookmakers to sign the striker, but significantly, for the first time since he handed in his transfer request, he is odds-on to remain at Liverpool at 5/6.

It is proving a frustrating process for manager Arsene Wenger, while judging by online forums Arsenal fans – desperate for a show of intent from the club after selling two captains in previous summers – are growing angry at the lack of movement.

But Neill, who managed the club between 1976 and 1983, has a unique view, having been on both sides of the fence as a manager and supporter – and says this impasse is a sign of the times.

“It is becoming the norm these days that these deals go to the wire,” said Neill.

“I expect it will be the same with Gareth Bale and Real Madrid too – it is all brinkmanship and seeing who will blink first.

“It is a real battle of nerves and Arsenal clearly have a valuation for the player and Liverpool have another – can the gap be bridged and a deal be brokered?

“I honestly have no doubt that something will happen, although I have to say with his past misdemeanours I do know of some Arsenal fans who question whether he is even right for the club.

“Personally, I think he would be a great signing – from a playing point of view.”

But while Arsenal wait, fans have had to sit and watch as title rivals Chelsea and, in particular, Manchester City, have strengthened over the summer months.

Neill, who also played at Highbury between 1959 and 1970, points out that those clubs are in a different financial position to the Gunners.

“City did their transfer business early because they have a seemingly bottomless pit of money, you must remember that,” he added.

“They’re not working in the same conditions as we are. That is the reality, they have money coming from elsewhere and Arsenal is run like a proper business.

“From an Arsenal perspective I see both sides of the coin – the fans and the management. The fans want a competitive side who will challenge for trophies – and so do I.

“The fans want to see that ‘statement of intent’ signing, they are anxious to get people coming rather than leaving the club, which has happened in previous seasons – it would be a nice change!

“But Arsenal are dealing with a club who do not want to sell and, as we will see in the lead up to the transfer window shutting in a month’s time, more and more deals will be done late on. Negotiations are long, drawn out, affairs these days.

“I was lucky. When I returned to Highbury as manager in 1976 I was allowed to go straight out and bring Malcolm Macdonald in nice and early so he was there in time for the start of pre-season.

“But I was more often than not frustrated. I tried to sign Frank Arnesen, Michel Platini, Preben Elkjaer and even Diego Maradona, and a lot of work went into them, but in the end they came to nothing.

“That’s the way of the world. As I say, these don’t happen overnight, so let’s just sit tight and see what happens…”


Live Blog Transfer Window Live 18th August

 

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Arsenal news

Saturday, August 29, 2015
Aleksandar Mitrovic (2nd R) of Newcastle United is shown a red card by referee Andre Marriner (1st R) during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Arsene Wenger said the referee had no choice but to send off Newcastle striker Aleksandar Mitrovic in their 1-0 win on Tyneside.

Saturday, August 29, 2015
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger looks on as mascot Gunnersaurus takes part in the Dizzy Challenge. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal trained without Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny ahead of the Premier League clash in Newcastle on Saturday lunchtime.

Saturday, August 29, 2015
Liverpool's Christian Benteke (left) and Arsenal's Calum Chambers compete for the ball

Arsene Wenger has said that he considered replacing Calum Chambers in Arsenal’s goalless draw against Liverpool and revealed that the England defender is struggling with confidence.

Saturday, August 29, 2015
Paul Pogba of Juventus FC in action (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

All the latest transfer news and gossip with just four days to go until the transfer window slams shut.

Friday, August 28, 2015
Arsenal strikers Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud (Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes he does not need to sign a striker this summer as his current players will find their finishing touch.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Read more
Scones, jam and a cup of Earl Grey anyone?

Luxury boutique hotel Flemings Mayfair has recently launched The Drawing Room, London’s most stylish location for afternoon tea.

Read more
Free weekly shop? Yes please!

Win £200 to spend at Asda, one of the country’s leading supermarkets. Asda prides itself in being one of the cheapest places to shop, so you can be sure that your money will go a long way here.

Read more