Are Liverpool over the worst of the Suarez saga?

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger confirmed last week that the Gunners’ pursuit of Liverpool striker Luis Suarez is ‘dead’ but are the Reds over the worst of the summer saga?

The 26-year-old Uruguayan has been the subject of speculation all summer long after an impressive season at Anfield in which he scored 23 league goals and made 11 assists for Brendan Rodgers’ side.

Suarez ended the season with a ten-game ban from the FA for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic and though the manager, the team and the fans stuck by him, it seemed as though the controversy over Luis Suarez was far from over.

The player accused the British press of hounding him and cited their constant scapegoating of him as a potential reason for a departure abroad – at the time he was being linked with European champions Bayern Munich as well as Spanish giants Real Madrid.

He had signed a new contract with Liverpool last term that theoretically committed his future to the club until 2018 but, sure enough, as the season came to a close in May and the transfer window beckoned, rumours surrounding Suarez were rife all across the continent.

However, upon the opening of this summer’s window in July, no offers came in for Suarez – it seemed he wasn’t quite as coveted as he and the club had expected – but by August, domestic rivals Arsenal had made a bid to sign him.

The initial bid of £30 million was flatly rejected by Liverpool who stood firm on the matter – the player is not for sale reiterated Rodgers – but soon enough Arsenal made a second bid of £40,000,001 which they had hoped would trigger a release clause in Suarez’ contract.

However, the clause only entitled Suarez to be informed of the offer by Liverpool and the club’s owner John W Henry along with the manager insisted once again the player was not for sale – unless of course a club met his valuation, over £50 million.

The player himself attempted to engineer a sale – he went public with an interview to the British press on his feelings of ‘betrayal’ and disappointment that Liverpool hadn’t honoured their promise that, should the club fail to qualify for the Champions League, he would be allowed to leave.

Now, here we are, just a matter of days away from the close of the transfer window on September 2nd and Arsenal have confirmed they are no longer interested in Luis Suarez. The striker told reporters in his homeland that, due to the ‘love of the people’, he would likely remain at Anfield.

Calls for him to apologize for his disresprectly behavior towards the club were met with rejection – he remains unwilling to apologize – but, for the moment, it appears as if he will stay on Merseyside.

Unless, of course, Real Madrid reignite their interest in him – at present the Los Blancos are ardently trying to bring Tottenham’s Gareth Bale to the Bernabeu with reports emerging over the weekend that the sale is imminent.

Meanwhile, Arsenal have turned their attention to Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, along with midfielder Mesut Ozil and Angel Di Maria, who are also linked with Manchester United. A transfer ‘domino effect’ could ensue as we head towards the deadline.

Should Bale be unveiled this week, a number of players in his preferred position in the Spanish capital may fear for their place in the team and, subsequently, could be allowed to leave – especially given the record-breaking fee Real Madrid are expected to pay Spurs for the Welshman. If Benzema or Ozil are allowed to leave, Real Madrid could make a surprise bid for Luis Suarez, leaving Liverpool with little time to acquire a replacement.

Whilst Rodgers was reluctant to agree a deal with domestic rivals Arsenal, at least that deal would have left the time to bring in a replacement but if Real Madrid come knocking with £50 million to spend and Suarez throws his toys out the pram once again, the Reds may find the worst of the Suarez saga is yet to come.

images: © wonker, © Viking-

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