ARSENAL’S former transfer chief Dick Law revealed why the club made their infamous £40million and £1 bid for Luis Suarez.
The Uruguay international looked set to move to the Emirates Stadium in the summer of 2013 after Liverpool failed to qualify for the Champions League.
The now 36-year-old, who plays for Brazilians Gremio, had a clause in his contract with the Reds that they had to inform him of any transfer bid if it was more than £40m.
And Law insisted that Arsenal were always aware the figure was not a buy-out clause and they simply added the extra pound to kick-start negotiations.
But Liverpool owner John W. Henry took offence to the offer and, after it was publicised, he tweeted: “What do you think they’re smoking over there?”
Suarez ended up remaining at Anfield for another season where he was named PFA Player of the Year before sealing a £75m move to Barcelona.
Several years later and the striker was available for a nominal fee, leaving Barcelona for Atletico Madrid in 2020, where he won the LaLiga title.
The Gunners’ then-transfer guru Law would later explain that the North London side had never wanted to antagonise their Premier League rivals.
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Speaking to Goal, he said: “That spring, news got round to us that Suarez wanted out of Liverpool.
“We knew that we had to exceed a certain threshold and so we decided to throw another pound on it.
“We could have thrown £50 or £500,000, but it wasn’t going to make any difference to the final negotiation.
“The offer was just a trigger. Liverpool wanted to make a big deal out of it and that’s fine. When they received our offer they immediately publicised it.
“I think John Henry wanted to know what we were smoking, which I thought was a bit disrespectful.
“It was him having a bit of a go because he was getting ready to lose his star player. It was a good way to deflect attention.
“I always thought that the move to publicise it was counter-productive.
“One of the things we were always very proud of at Arsenal was working quietly behind the scenes. Ivan [Gazidis], Arsene [Wenger] and I always worked very hard on being discreet in all transfers.
“And I thought Liverpool shot themselves in the foot by basically saying they were now forced to entertain offers because of this clause, by publicising it they just made everyone aware and eventually they lost the player.”
Liverpool wanted to make a big deal out of it. I think John Henry wanted to know what we were smoking, which I thought was a bit disrespectful.
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