If City are serious on FFP, Suarez is too pricey

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The Independent Online

The Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers, has declared that the sale of Luis Suarez is "not even a discussion point" – though there appears to be no prospect of Roberto Mancini approaching his board to ask Manchester City to buy the player.

Rodgers said of the striker that "he has already shown in the summer his commitment to the club. He's signed a new deal."

Although Mancini has been characterised as unwilling to accept the strictures imposed on spending by Uefa's Financial Fair Play (FFP) legislation, he is more realistic than is widely appreciated on what is good value for the club.

Amid suggestions that he wants to buy Suarez, it seems unlikely that Mancini would press the club to lay out the £20m-a-year needed in each of the next four years to bring Suarez to the Etihad.

The purchase of Suarez would certainly blow a major hole in the club's attempts to comply with FFP and thus secure a license to play European football. If the player were purchased for £40m on a four-year deal, the club would take a £10m hit each year for four years on its profit-and-loss account – a figure which would count towards FFP calculations. But it is the player's wages which would deliver the biggest blow to its attempts to draw closer to the losses allowed by Uefa – £18m a year. If Suarez were to command a salary of £1m a month, less than City's Carlos Tevez but in line with others among the game's best paid, that would take the annual hit to the club up to £22m a year, including wages and transfer fee.

"We want to continue to build the group around Luis," Rodgerssaid. "So for us it is not even a discussion point."

City are about to announce losses in excess of £100m for the 2011-12 season, the first of Uefa's first two-year monitoring period, during which a club can lose no more than £18m a year. Despite scepticism that FFP will be enforced, most analysts are convinced that Uefa do mean business, in forcing clubs towards breaking even.

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