LONDON: Arsene Wenger hit back at Brendan Rodgers after the Liverpool manager insisted Arsenal’s bid for Luis Suarez fell well short of the player’s valuation.
Rodgers claimed Suarez’s qualities meant he should be valued in similar terms to Gareth Bale, the Tottenham forward who has attracted a near £100 million approach from Real Madrid.
Speaking after his side’s 2-2 draw with Napoli on the first day of the pre-season Emirates Cup tournament, Arsenal manager Wenger confirmed the club had made a formal bid for Suarez — believed to be in the region of £40 million.
But he also insisted negotiations would remain in-house and admitted he was perplexed by Rodgers’s decision to speak out.
“I do not understand this kind of thinking and would not like to talk openly about negotiations, because that is not my target in (this) press conference,” said Wenger.
“We have one month in front of us and we will work very hard to strengthen our squad, without naming any specific names, because I do not believe that will make negotiations easier.
“After that, you can make all kind of thinking about the price of the players, and you can say as well they are all overboard anyway.
“I never said we have made a bid to Liverpool, now I can tell you we have made one, so at least that is some information. All the rest, I would like to keep to us.
“If we progress in that situation, we will inform you. At the moment, that is where we are.”
‘Real should not have made Bale talks public’
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti should not have made public the Spanish club’s attempts to sign Tottenham Hotspur mid-fielder Gareth Bale, said the Premier League side’s coach Andre Villas-Boas.
Asked if he felt Ancelotti was in the wrong, Villas-Boas said: “I think so, in my opinion. Carlo is a person I appreciate a lot and we have great respect for each other, but bearing in mind this situation they have decided to make it public.
“Normally in situations like this, it is scrutinised by the Football Association with lots of care and attention,” added the Portuguese coach. “We have seen lots of people speak about a player that is not theirs and we are due some respect.
“These rumours of an imminent transfer are not true. The only thing we have communicated with Real Madrid is that he is our player and he is not for sale.”
Villas-Boas was speaking at a news conference after Tottenham had lost 5-2 in a friendly away to Monaco although the 24-year-old Bale did not travel for the match due to injury.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2013.
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