• Premier League

Wenger has 'no regrets' over Suarez

ESPN staff
February 6, 2014
Wenger has no regrets over Suarez

Arsene Wenger has insisted he has 'no regrets' over Arsenal's failure to sign Luis Suarez last summer, even though the Uruguayan has been the shining star of the Premier League this season.

His club's offer of £40,000,001 was an attempt to trigger a release clause in Suarez's Liverpool contract but proved to an embarrassing misunderstanding as Anfield officials refused to do business.

Arsenal's title challenge may have been stronger had they signed Suarez but Wenger was philosophical as he prepares his team to take on the striker at Anfield on Saturday.

Wenger v Mourinho in battle for the big guns

Bayern Munich's Mario Mandzukic is a wanted man by both clubs © Getty Images
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"Sometimes you have regrets when a player who played for you and scores goals or does well somewhere else," Wenger said. "He [Suarez] was never our player. It is a situation that didn't come off and that's it.

"For us, the important thing is to win the game [on Saturday]. What happened in the summer has nothing to do with that. If you want to win the game, what is for sure is he [Suarez] is one of the players you have to keep quiet."

Wenger appeared to rule out a further bid to sign Suarez next summer, although he added a hint of doubt about his intentions by saying he had no plans to try again ' "at the moment".

On Saturday's challenge, he said: "They are not just about him [Suarez]. Liverpool have a strong offensive force with Suarez, [Daniel] Sturridge, [Philippe] Coutinho, [Raheem] Sterling, [Steven] Gerrard in behind.

"All these players can score goals and make a difference. On our side, we need a strong defensive performances.

"Liverpool are in a better position now than they were before and they are a team who are fluent going forward and can put you under pressure. They have more players who can make a difference than they had in other years.

"One of our targets is to dominate the game and leave them as few balls as possible. At Liverpool, the task might be a bit more difficult. We want convince people that we have the quality to win games like this."

Wenger wants his team to 'enjoy' a run of fixtures that will see Arsenal take on Liverpool twice, play Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium and take on Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

He also laughed off comments from Jose Mourinho that suggested Chelsea were not serious title contenders despite their win at Manchester City on Monday.

"They are in there, but it is easy to move out of the title race if he [Mourinho] doesn't want to," he added with a smile. "We focus on our side on our results and don't listen too much to what people say.

"I said one month ago and you didn't believed me, there is no invincible team in the Premier League. There is a lot of quality in this league and it is just how close you are to your best that decides the game.

"When you are in a good position to fight for something, the closer you get to the end, every game becomes vital. This is a massive month for us. Every point is crucial now, but we have fought hard to be in this position so let's just enjoy it and give our best."

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