Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers along with owner John W Henry have maintained their stance that the 26-year-old Uruguayan in not for sale throughout this summer’s saga.
Arsenal offered £40,000,001 for Suarez which did not meet Liverpool’s valuation of their star player who they are unwilling to discuss unless a bid over £50 million comes in for him.
However, Suarez has now made his position almost untenable by publicly declaring his desire to leave and to join a club in the Champions League, so far with only Arsenal chasing his signature.
Suarez signed a new contract last term that should have been enough to keep him on at Anfield until 2018 which puts the Reds in a stronger position to negotiate with potential suitors.
Liverpool (depending on the outcome of a contract release clause which the club refutes) are under no obligation whatsoever to sell him. They could, if they really wanted to, take the stance that Borussia Dortmund have with wantaway striker Robert Lewandowski and simply tell him to put up and shut up.
It remains to be seen how that works out at Dortmund but the general thinking on such matters is that it is detrimental to the squad morale to keep an ‘unhappy’ player around. In all likelihood, keeping a player at the club against his will is the fastest way to destroy motivation, unity and productivity from the team.
Of course, Liverpool could just sell him to Arsenal, which is looking like the most likely inevitability now. They could just hold out for the £50-plus million and send the traitor packing down to North London, take the cash and bid good riddance.
The obvious problem with that is it damages the club’s image to be seen as a weakened selling club and it strengthens a direct rival for the top four in a massive way. It would equate to giving Arsenal 23 goals and a whole bag of points ahead of the new season.
With that in mind, Liverpool could and probably should offer him around to other clubs in Europe. The striker is understood to be holding out for a move to Real Madrid but I’m sure if they dropped his price a little, the Reds could find some other suitors for him.
At present it looks as though Arsenal are the only interested party but if they offered him around for £40 million, someone would likely take him whether it be Monaco, PSG or a Russian giant. Someone’s got to want him outside the Premier League if the price is right.
Finally, whatever Liverpool do, they ought to be preparing themselves for the inevitable – they must be lining up a replacement for Luis Suarez to ensure they are not left in the lurch on deadline day – that would be disastrous.
Neither A, B, or C are what the club, the manager or the fans want but unless they face up to the music quickly, things could get a lot worse. Keep him against his will, sell him to Arsenal, or offload him elsewhere but they must make sure there’s something to fall back on other than a big red behind.
image: © dannymol