Arsenal are ready to increase their offer for Liverpool forward Luis Suarez to £40m despite Brendan Brendan Rodgers' vows to retain the forward.
The Gunners saw their opening bid of £30m swiftly rejected by Liverpool last week despite Suarez indicating that he would be open to a move to the Emirates after stating on a number of occasions that he wishes to leave the Merseyside outfit.
Reports have suggested that Arsenal will return with an improved offer for the Uruguayan international as their hopes of signing Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain were dealt a blow with the news that new manager Carlo Ancelotti wants to retain the Argentine, despite the striker being told he was free to leave at the beginning of the summer.
With their attention now firmly on Suarez, the Daily Mail report that Arsenal will test Liverpool's resolve with an improved offer after the club's hierarchy sanctioned a £40m bid. It has been suggested that such an offer would be enough to activate a release clause in the 26-year-old's contract, something argued by Suarez's agent Pere Guardiola.
With Chelsea leading the pursuit of Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney and Higuain's situation at the Bernabeu uncertain, Suarez could represent Arsenal's last chance of securing an established name in European football to strengthen their attacking options.
In comments made by chief executive Ivan Gazidis at the beginning of the summer, Arsenal's renewed ambition in the transfer market was underlined, but the only addition to the squad that just about clinched fourth spot last season has been 20-year-old French striker Yaya Sanogo.
Although the prospect of the controversial Uruguayan donning the Arsenal shirt has drawn a mixed reaction from Gunners fans, a player of Suarez's calibre leading the line could certainly boost the club's hopes of mounting a stronger challenge on all four fronts next campaign.
But despite Suarez's intention to leave Liverpool, the club themselves remain adamant that their leading scorer last season will remain at the club. Echoing the sentiments of managing director Ian Ayre, Rodgers underlined the club's stance on the future of the former Ajax star, stating only a "drastic" bid could force their hand.
"There has been lots of speculation about Luis moving to another club but as I said, he is very much a Liverpool player," Rodgers said yesterday.
"We had an offer that was nowhere near what we value him at. Of course he wants to work and play at the top level.
"But unless something drastic happens, he will be staying here. He has got three years left on his contract."