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The FA Cup Fourth Round

Wenger in Suarez admission

Manager Arsene Wenger accepts there was nothing subtle about the way Arsenal tried to sign Luis Suarez from Liverpool in the summer.

Last Updated: 04/11/13 at 19:58 Post Comment

Arsene Wenger: Insists there are no lingering issues between Arsenal and Liverpo

Arsene Wenger: Insists there are no lingering issues between Arsenal and Liverpo

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The Gunners boss made the admission on the eve of Saturday's first-versus-third showdown at the Emirates - but insisted his club's carefully calculated £40,000,001 offer was in no way meant to be "provocative".

Arsenal had made their specific bid believing it would trigger a get-out clause in Suarez's contract but were quickly rebuffed by the Anfield club in July, with American owner John W Henry posting on Twitter: "What do you think they're smoking over there at Emirates?"

Wenger, though, insists there are no lingering issues between the two clubs over the protracted saga as they prepare to go head-to-head at the top of the Barclays Premier League.

"It was not the most subtle thing we have done, but it was not meant to be provocative at all. It could be interpreted like that, but it was not our purpose," the Frenchman said.

"It was one of the transfers that did not work and in every club you have two or three, but there is no need afterwards to speak about it.

"Suarez is a professional, he plays there, he is paid by Liverpool, and that is it.

"Relations (with Liverpool) are good. We kept in touch over that period."

The Gunners boss insists there can be no thoughts of regret over the one who got away when he sends his side out on Saturday looking to avoid what would be a third consecutive home defeat.

"Life is about opportunities that you miss, some that you take," Wenger added. "You can only make life with your own qualities.

"We have a squad that is good enough to beat Liverpool and that is what we want to show and focus on."

Nevertheless, Arsenal's squad was found wanting against a second-string Chelsea side in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night, when they were beaten 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium.

Wenger feels when he has all of his players available, Arsenal do have enough strength in depth.

"I watched the game again and you can come to the conclusion that Chelsea are a more complete squad," said Wenger, who will have midfielder Mikel Arteta back from a one-match suspension.

"However, on the night, did not had everyone available - no (Alex) Oxlade-Chamberlain, not (Mathieu) Flamini, not (Theo) Walcott, not (Lukas) Podolski.

"Chelsea only have one injured player at the moment with (Marco) van Ginkel and I think if we had only one injured player, then we can compete."

Wenger accepts his men will have to once again answer criticism over their character in order to sustain a title challenge.

"What we want first is to convince everybody that we can play at the top and hopefully in April we can ask ourselves have we got enough resources to cross the line," he said.

"It was a disappointment on Tuesday, I cannot deny that and we want to respond in a very strong way in a competition where we are in a very strong position."

Arsenal v Liverpool is live on Saturday Night Football, Sky Sports 1HD from 5pm

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