The American, principal figure in Fenway Sports Group, appeared to dismiss the Gunners’ £40 million plus £1 offer in flippant fashion in a single dismissive tweet.
His “What do you think they are smoking over there at Emirates” message was written on his Twitter account just after 2am local time in Boston.
What do you think they're smoking over there at Emirates?— John W. Henry (@John_W_Henry) July 24, 2013
While it may seem out of character — club officials have not been able to verify it was sent by Henry himself — it undoubtedly reflects the stance of the club, who insist Suarez is not for sale and even if he was he is valued at much more.
The Uruguay international played the last 20 minutes of Liverpool’s 2-0 friendly win over Melbourne Victory yesterday, providing the assist for the second goal by Iago Aspas after captain Steven Gerrard had opened the scoring in the first half.
After the match manager Brendan Rodgers maintained his ‘not-for-sale’ stance but it appears he is fighting an increasingly futile battle even if the club rejected Arsenal’s offer without a second thought.
“He’s been surrounded by speculation but he’s very much a Liverpool player and over the course of the next number of weeks we’ve got to get him up to speed and have him fit and raring to go for the beginning of the season,” Rodgers said.
Considering the support Liverpool have given in the wake of Suarez’s eight-match ban for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra and last season’s 10-game suspension — six of which have still to be served — for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic it would be safe to assume the club expected some loyalty in return.
“The support he’s received from the supporters and the people of the city of Liverpool has been unrivaled,” said Rodgers.
“In the period of time he’s missed a lot of games for various reasons and the people have stood by him like a son and really looked after him.
“So I’m sure that whatever happens in the coming weeks that will be on his mind because it’s certainly something you can never forget.”
Arsenal’s need to force a breakthrough on the Suarez saga deepened last night after Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis revealed Gonzalo Higuain and Jose Reina have passed medicals at the Italian side and will be presented to the ambitious Serie A club’s fans on Monday.
Real Madrid striker Higuain, a summer-long Arsenal target, is on the verge of signing a reported five-year contract at the Stadio San Paolo for a €40m fee while Liverpool goalkeeper Reina, 30, is set to be reunited with his former Reds manager Rafael Benitez on a season-long loan deal.