Football: Arsene Wenger calls Real Madrid's $201m bid for Gareth Bale 'a joke'

LONDON (REUTERS) - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said Real Madrid's proposed 105 million pound (S$201 million) bid to sign Gareth Bale from Arsenal's arch-rivals Tottenham it would make a "joke" of Financial Fair Play.

"It's quite amazing that in the year where the Financial Fair Play comes in, the football world has gone completely crazy," said Wenger.

"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."

Speaking before this weekend's friendly pre-season warm-up Emirates Cup competition, the Frenchman said he is still keen to sign Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez even though Liverpool have rejected two offers from the Gunners for him.

"We will completely respect what Liverpool want to do," Wenger said. "We want to sign the player if it is feasible in an amicable way. 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, 26, scored 29 goals for Liverpool in all competitions last season, but is currently four matches into a 10-game ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic in a Premier League match at Anfield last April.

Liverpool have continually maintained throughout the close-season that Suarez is not for sale even though the Gunners tabled an offer of 40 million pounds plus one pound for the striker.

Wenger said he was also optimistic of strenghtending his squad before the transfer deadline ends on September 2.

"We are working very hard to strengthen our squad.

"I am confident. You look at many teams around us. Nothing has happened until now. At the moment the market hasn't moved a lot. Apart from Man City, nobody has done anything."

The two-day Emirates Cup starts on Saturday and features Arsenal, Galatasaray, Napoli and Porto.

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