It’s a bit like a warped game of ‘Deal or No Deal’ – people keep calling the Reds to offer them money for the Uruguayan and their caught somewhere between a rock and very hard place.
Brendan Rodgers’ ambitions for the club and the team next term remain of paramount importance and priority obviously – not the player who is under contract until 2016, not the clubs sniffing around him, and certainly not his agent.
However, there must be an admission that when a player behaves the way Suarez does (and I don’t just mean the obvious incidents) he makes his position at the club almost untenable – he obviously wants to leave.
Liverpool, if they decide to sell him, firstly must prioritize their own need for an adequate (or preferably superior) replacement for the 27-year-old who scored 30 goals in all competitions.
Then, obviously, the next condition will be the weight of the offer from potential suitors – they’re not going to sell him for anything less than his valuation and, they are well within their rights due to how long he’s got on his contract, to demand far and beyond his actual valuation.
Next, because of how exceptional he is as a talent – there may be a maximum of three or four players in Europe of his quality at present and even that’s a stretch in my estimation – the demand for him will he high, meaning they can quite likely expect a bidding war to ensue.
Liverpool hold all the cards on this occasion and they’d be foolish to weaken their own hand unnecessarily. Why would they sell him to a direct Premier League rival where, if possible, they would probably be able to ensure he goes abroad – he has said he doesn’t want to be in England, anyway.
Furthermore, with time of the essence, surely they’d be wise to consider killing two birds with one stone effectively – why don’t they opt for a part exchange deal involving cash plus a player? That would seem to be the most intelligent means of ensuring their not left without a quality replacement.
Real Madrid are known pursuers of Suarez and they have a player they are willing to sell for just over half Suarez’ valuation, as far as I’m aware – Arsenal and Napoli are known to have been in talks with the Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain for a fee reportedly between £25 million and £30 million. Arsenal are also reportedly willing to meet Liverpool’s supposed valuation of £40 million for Suarez.
Suarez had, incidentally, mentioned Real Madrid as a destination that would appeal to him. As far as I can see, the only party that would need convincing would be Higuain who, understandably, would probably prefer Champions League football.
If Brendan Rodgers can convince the 25-year-old striker that Liverpool will be eating at Europe’s top table in a season’s time, they could likely make a deal happen. Rather than take £40 million from a direct rival, the Reds should take Higuain plus, say £10 million (or maybe even up to £20 million) and send Suarez packing. That would solve all problems in one fell swoop. The only losers would be Arsenal but I'm sure they're used to that by now.
image: © Jan S0l0