'Colombian Ronaldo' being lined up as potential €20m Suarez replacement?

Suarez Liverpool 2

Liverpool may be preparing for the worst over Luis Suarez having been linked with his potential replacement.

The Uruguayan international signed a new contract at Anfield in December, which, by the terms of the agreement, would keep him on Merseyside until at least 2018, but most believe that unless Brendan Rodgers manages to get Liverpool into the top four, Suarez will be sold in the summer.

A number of clubs would be looking to take the controversial striker away from Liverpool, which would be devastating for the Reds, who have relied heavily on the former Ajax man ever since he arrived in January 2011, but it seems Rodgers may have already put a contingency plan in place.

The Reds are reportedly eyeing up a move for Udinese striker Luis Muriel, who has been called 'The Colombian Ronaldo' after some superb displays for club and country in recent years. Having scored 15 goals in his last 37 games for the Italian side, Muriel has earned the lofty comparison to the prolific Brazilian striker Ronaldo as a result of his superb pace, dribbling and ball control.

There is a reported €20m price tag above Muriel's head, but there is a danger that Liverpool could be price out of the move if the 22-year-old has a strong World Cup. An opportunity has been presented to Muriel as a result of Colombia's star striker Falcao sustaining a knee injury, and the highly rated Muriel could feature alongside Arsenal and Chelsea target Jackson Martinez in his place.

Should Muriel play regularly for Colombia on the world's biggest stage, other clubs will no doubt be interested in signing him – which Liverpool have had plenty of trouble with recently. Primary targets Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Willian and Mohamed Salah all looked set for moves to Anfield before other clubs came in to gazump them, leaving manager Rodgers frustrated.

Ultimately, much depends on Liverpool's European commitments for next season – if they manage to gain Champions League qualification, they may well manage to keep hold of Suarez, but if not, they may need to sell their star quickly in order to avoid missing out on replacements.

image: © Viking-

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