Arsenal would go on to make a bid of £40,000,001 – an offer that was laughed off by Liverpool owner John Henry, who famously tweeted “what are they smoking over there at the Emirates?”
A year later Henry revealed that Suarez did indeed have an exit clause but that the club had simply refused to do business with their Premier League rivals.
However Wenger is convinced that Suarez wanted to move to London and claimed that the Uruguayan striker, who would go on to be the league’s top scorer that season, had agreed to join Arsenal.
“He was very close [to signing],” Wenger told Bein Sports. “We had an agreement with the player. We had been wrongly advised that he had a clause, with a minimal clause, but we had an agreement with the player. You can ask him.
“I'm convinced he wanted to join us and then they sold him. They kept him one more year, improved his contract and promised to sell him the year later to a club abroad.”
A year later Suarez would move to Barcelona for £75million, helping to fire them to a treble in his first season at the club.
The move to the Nou Camp also heralded a more mature approach from Suarez, who had caused controversy for his actions off the pitch on several occasions both before and during his time at Liverpool.
Wenger said of Suarez’s conduct in the past: “It's not normal. You cannot accept that. He had some behaviours that were shocking but I think as well you don't see them anymore since two, three years.
“He got rid of all the things that were a handicap for him and today you don't see that anymore. He's still on borderline with what the strikers do well, you know, go down in the penalty box but you want that from an intelligent striker.
“Overall I think he got rid of all the rest and rightly so and he deserved to be punished before and now you don't even expect it anymore from him.”