Liverpool owner John Henry appears to have ridiculed Arsenal’s latest bid for striker Luis Suarez in one seemingly dismissive tweet.
What do you think they're smoking over there at Emirates?— John W. Henry (@John_W_Henry) July 24, 2013
The “What do you think they are smoking over there at Emirates” message was written on the American’s Twitter account just after 2am local time in Boston, seemingly in response to the Gunners’ offer of £40m plus £1 for the Uruguayan.
While it may seem out of character – club officials have not yet been unable to verify it was sent by Henry himself because of the time difference to the US - 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.
Liverpool had already rejected the bid and plan talks with their star striker after today’s friendly against Melbourne Victory, where he starts on the bench after completing just two training sessions having arrived in Australia on Sunday after an extended break following Confederations Cup action.
Reports have suggested a complicated contractual clause means the player can speak to any club offering more than £40m but the club insist that figure is not his buy-out price.
It is understood that when Arsenal made their first approach of £30m over a fortnight ago they were told by Liverpool that they would not entertain selling their prize asset even for £40m.
However, manager Brendan Rodgers and managing director Ian Ayre plan to hold talks with Suarez after the game as they attempt to persuade the 26-year-old to stay despite his agent Pere Guardiola earlier this month indicating his client wants Champions League football.
Suarez will not be allowed to leave the club’s tour early, with another friendly scheduled in Bangkok later this week before they return home.
Difficulties may arise, however, if Suarez and his advisors believe the £40m figure is tantamount to a sale fee and insist he is entitled to negotiate with the Gunners over a move.