When there's smoke, there's fire.
In this particular case, the smoke started up late last week with the report that Sky Bet significantly slashed their odds on a Luis Suarez move to Arsenal. It came from nowhere, since all indications up to that point were leading the Uruguayan forward to a move outside of England. We here at The Short Fuse rightfully dismissed it; while a player of his caliber will always intrigue the club from a sporting standpoint, he's not exactly the sort of human being we've gone out of our way to collectively represent us. Further, we were counting down the days (hours? minutes?) until we got an official confirmation of Gonzalo Higuain's arrival. Why on Earth would we spend £25 million on Higuain and promptly turn around and drop even more on a player at his exact position?
Well if the Telegraph are to be believed, the reason for the odds slash last week was that the smoke quickly grew to an out-of-control inferno: Arsenal, they say, approached Liverpool late last week with £30 million in their hands for the services of Suarez. The same Luis Suarez who will miss the first six matches of the upcoming EPL season due to biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic - if he's still employed at Liverpool, or any other club under FA jurisdiction - and who's made his desire to get away from the English press very public. The purpose of the move can be explained a few different ways and, while generally the tenuous link is horse poo at best, it still serves for something.
After apparently getting the blessing from Madrid to negotiate his move away, Higuain's transfer hit a snag, as reported over the weekend, with either new coach Carlo Ancelotti attempting to convince him to stay at Madrid or Florentino Perez being the worst person in the world to deal with in a negotiation. Either of these situations could have slivers or massive chunks of truth in them, both which plays into Arsenal's hand. While Suarez has never said he wanted to join Arsenal, Higuain stated immediately after last season that he wanted out of Madrid. Remember, Madrid have their own transfer targets - at forward, nonetheless - that need sorted before next season starts, one of which is potentially Luis Suarez. And with each day that passes that Napoli flat-out refuse to negotiate with any club offering less than Edison Cavani's buyout, along with the revelation that Robert Lewandowski's Bayern-bound, another day arrives that Luis Suarez is the most logical option for Madrid if they're to buy a quality, available (and cheaper) forward on the market.
Armed to the teeth with new sponsorship money, Arsenal pose a credible threat to Madrid on the transfer market, no matter what Luis Suarez has stated in the past regarding his future in England. While the likelihood that Suarez eventually moves to Arsenal is slim, at best, the likelihood that Higuain remains disgruntled with his position and eventually competing, even more than ever, for playing time along whoever Madrid sign this summer is still sky-high. Arsenal know that; Madrid should know this. This is classic manipulation of a negotiation when one party feels that their position weakened, and fair play to Arsenal for recognizing this and showing Madrid that Gonzalo Higuain isn't and never will be their only realistic target this summer.