Arsenal weighing up third offer for Liverpool star

Liverpool's Luis Suarez. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA

Liverpool's Luis Suarez. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Arsenal are contemplating a third bid for Luis Suarez after their latest attempt to sign the Uruguayan frontman was rejected by Liverpool.

The Gunners, who are desperate to sign a big-name forward during the current transfer window, raised their initial offer for Suarez to £40m – plus a pound – this week.

That unusual figure, which ensured that Liverpool were required to formally notify Suarez of the Londoners’ interest, represented another step in the developing game of brinkmanship between the two clubs.

Although Arsenal’s offer almost trebles their previous record outlay, for Andrey Arshavin, it is still some way short of the Reds’ £50m valuation of their star player - and the Anfield club have made it clear they will not budge on that.

The Gunners are expected to open talks with the Uruguayan’s representatives next week, but they must decide whether they are willing to raise the stakes further to try and clinch the signature of one of the Premier League’s most talented but controversial players.

The 26-year-old still has six games remaining of a 10-match FA ban that was imposed after he bit the arm of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic towards the end of last season.

Liverpool are still hopeful of persuading Suarez to stay at Anfield, even though the player has made it clear that he wants Champions League football.

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Suarez made his first appearance for the Reds since the Ivanovic incident on Wednesday, coming on as substitute to set up their second goal in a 2-0 friendly win against A-League side Melbourne Victory.

Meanwhile, the Gunners have confirmed the exit of Brazilian left-back Andre Santos, who has returned to his homeland with Flamengo on a permanent deal.

The 30-year-old moved to the Emirates two years ago in a £6.8m switch from Fenerbahce and made his Arsenal debut in a 1-1 Champions League draw against Borussia Dortmund.

Santos, who made a total of 33 appearances for the club and netted three goals, was a regular in the side during his first season but lost his place to Kieran Gibbs last year.

He was allowed to join Brazilian side Gremio on loan for the rest of the season after the arrival of Nacho Monreal at the Emirates on the last day of the January transfer window.