The 26-year-old Uruguayan has rarely been out of the spotlight during his two-year spell in England at the Merseyside club. This summer’s unseemly transfer saga shows no signs of closure at present as the start of the season approaches this weekend.
Arsenal made an audacious £40,000,001 bid for the Liverpool star which was promptly rejected by Liverpool, whilst manager Brendan Rodgers and owner John W Henry maintain their stance that Luis Suarez is not for sale.
Rodgers had, however, previously hinted that the Reds may be more inclined to let him go should their £50-plus million valuation be met, especially in the early weeks of the summer when it appeared as though Spanish giants Real Madrid may be interested in luring him to the Spanish capital.
However, Real Madrid’s arduous pursuit of their primary transfer target Tottenham’s Gareth Bale and their previous signing of Malaga’s Isco makes the Suarez deal less of matter of importance and urgency for them this summer. At present it would appear only Arsenal are potential suitors.
Gary Neville, however, raising a valid point when he suggested Liverpool should try to entice Chelsea to sign him rather than the Gunners – if he has to be sold to a Champions League side, why not sell him to one that is (even slightly) less of a threat to Liverpool’s own top four ambitions?
Arsenal finished fourth last term, and only barely at that, beating Tottenham to it on the final day of the season via their win at Newcastle. Liverpool finished 7th in Rodgers’ first term but will be hoping to drastically improve on that this season. In recent years Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, Everton and Liverpool have competed for the third and fourth positions, although it is important to note Chelsea finished 6th in 2011/12 (but qualified by wining the Champions League).
With Jose Mourinho back at the helm, it’s hard to see the Blues falling out of the top four – I would anticipate they will be challenging Manchester United and Manchester City for the title this term and in the ones to follow but Arsenal and Tottenham will likely be Liverpool’s biggest threats to their aspirations in that same period.
Obviously Rodgers and his Reds would rather not sell Suarez at all or, if they really must, preferably to a team abroad, but if that isn’t possible and the Uruguayan kicks up enough of a fuss to make offloading him the best option, one would have to agree with Neville’s assertions which beg the question: why aren’t Chelsea chasing Luis Suarez?
Mourinho has outlined Wayne Rooney as his main target this summer but Suarez performed far more impressively for Liverpool last term and they’d likely have less trouble getting the deal done than they would with United.
It’s actually quite remarkable that Chelsea haven’t considered Suarez as an option. Perhaps they fear for the safety of Branislav Ivanovic.
Liverpool fans, don't hold back, what do you think of Neville sticking his nose in?