• Wenger admits pursuit of Liverpool striker is over
• 'The transfer market starts for me now'
Arsène Wenger said that there was categorically no possibility of Arsenal reviving their interest in Liverpool's Luis Suárez before the closure of the transfer window. He has seen two bids, the second of £40,000,001, rejected for the unsettled striker and there had been some hope at the club that the situation could somehow turn in Arsenal's favour, despite Liverpool's refusal to sell.
But Wenger gave short shrift to the notion after his team's Champions League play-off first-leg victory over Fenerbahce in Istanbul. Asked whether the bid to sign Suárez was over, he replied: "Yes. There is absolutely no chance of that." Wenger, who failed with a £10m offer for Newcastle United's Yohan Cabaye, said that he remained in the market for a midfielder. "Quality-wise we don't need anybody but number-wise we are short," he said. "We lost [Alex Oxlade-] Chamberlain, [Mikel] Arteta to injuries and [Abou] Diaby is also out – three international midfielders. We tried to bring one in but we are working on that.
"You have to understand that there is still a long way to go. The transfer market starts for me now and a lot of activity will happen between now and 2 September. It starts now. It is like a poker game. People hold their cards as long as possible and see what is happening out there. In the end, they go for decisions.
"First everybody goes on holiday and nobody wants to do anything. Then, in many clubs, there are manager changes. They need to know the squad before they make a decision. There are many, many things but it is always like that."
Wenger was asked whether he was any good at poker. "No," he replied.