Arsenal put in a bid for Suarez of £40 million – plus one pound. The belief at the Emirates was that this would trigger a release clause in his contract.

This proved inaccurate and Liverpool responded with fury, owner John W Henry saying: “What do you think they are smoking over there at the Emirates?”

Suarez will confront leaders Arsenal today for the first time since his desire to join them was blocked

“It was not the most subtle thing we have done but it was not meant to be provocative at all,” said Wenger yesterday. “It could be interpreted like that, but it was not our purpose.

“We don’t smoke, but relations (between the clubs) are good. We kept in touch over that period. I know only one side but we always had fair relations with Liverpool.