Manager Arsene Wenger accepts there was nothing subtle about the way Arsenal tried to sign Luis Suarez from Liverpool in the summer.
The Gunners boss made the admission on the eve of Saturday's first-versus-third showdown at the Emirates - but insisted his club's carefully calculated £40,000,001 offer was in no way meant to be "provocative".
Arsenal had made their specific bid believing it would trigger a get-out clause in Suarez's contract but were quickly rebuffed by the Anfield club in July, with American owner John W. Henry posting on Twitter: "What do you think they're smoking over there at Emirates?"
Wenger, though, insists there are no lingering issues between the two clubs over the protracted saga as they prepare to go head-to-head at the top of the Barclays Premier League.
"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," the Frenchman said.
"It was one of the t...