Arsene Wenger has denied that his pursuit of Luis Suarez in the summer was a tactic to provoke Liverpool.
The Gunners had a bid worth £40m plus £1 rejected by Liverpool for the Uruguayan and Wenger concedes that the transfer tussle was not among the most "subtle" experiences he has had as an Arsenal manager. Wenger has moved on from his disappointments, having bought Mesut Ozil for £42m from Real Madrid, but the bitter taste of losing out on one of his dream targets still haunts the Frenchman.
Arsenal are currently top of the Premier League table with 22 points, two points above Liverpool who are third, joint on points with second placed Chelsea. However, the Gunners have only Olivier Giroud to lead the line this season, with Nicklas Bendtner out of his depth when faced with top opposition in the Premier League, as was evident in their 2-0 loss to Chelsea in the Capital One Cup.
"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. 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," Wenger said.
Wenger is happy with his squad right now, but does not rule out splurging the cash in January to strengthen his frontline. He believes that he has the squad capable of challenging for the title and that three home losses this season will not have a damaging effect on their title credentials.
"I don't know yet if we will strengthen [in attack] in January. Honestly, I want to see where we stand at the end of December," he stated.
"Liverpool is a big game for us in a completely different competition and we want to respond well. It was a disappointment on Tuesday [against Chelsea], and we want to respond in a very strong way in a competition where we are in a very strong position," Wenger said.