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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Aug 2, 2013

Wenger: Gareth Bale fee a joke

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger refused to be drawn on his pursuit of Liverpool striker Luis Suarez

Arsene Wenger has said Real Madrid's proposed €100 million transfer of Tottenham's Gareth Bale makes a "joke" of Financial Fair Play, while describing Arsenal's talks with Liverpool for Luis Suarez as "amicable".

Fitch: Do the English press want Bale to leave Spurs?
Marcotti: Gareth Bale transfer reports and the interests they serve

Real have reportedly lodged what would be a world-record fee for Bale, who is said to be angling for a move to the Bernabeu after an award-winning season at White Hart Lane.

Wenger has gained a reputation for spending frugally at Arsenal since he took over in 1996, although this summer the club have bid £40,000,001 for Liverpool forward Luis Suarez.

Speaking ahead of this weekend's Emirates Cup, Wenger said of Bale's mooted switch to Real in relation to Financial Fair Play: "It's quite amazing in the year when Financial Fair Play comes in, world football goes completely crazy.

"You wonder what kind of impact and effect it has on the football world. It looks like it has made everybody worse than before. It makes a joke of it."

The French coach was also asked about the Gunners' interest in Suarez, who Liverpool are keen to keep hold of despite the player making no secret of his wish to leave.

"I don't want to speak about Suarez, because that is between Liverpool and Arsenal. We will completely respect what Liverpool wants to do. We want to (sign the player) if it is feasible in an amicable way," Wenger said.

"I am a great believer you have to keep as much confidentiality as possible, which is quite difficult in the modern world.

"But we work very hard, not only on the case you name, but on other different cases.''

Suarez is currently serving a domestic ten-game ban imposed by the Football Association for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic at the end of last season.

The Uruguay international had previously received an eight-match suspension and £40,000 fine from the FA for racially abusing Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra in December 2011.

Wenger indicated, should the striker become an Arsenal player, such future behaviour would not be tolerated.

The Gunners boss said: "We have values that we want our players to respect. No matter where they come from, we will be very touchy on that of course.

"This club has built a reputation, not only during my period here but over 127 years, and the values that are very important for this club have to be respected by every player, no matter where he comes from. That will be with every potential signing."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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