Luis Suarez: Could Liverpool cash in on their star striker if they won the Premier League this season?
With Real Madrid rumoured to be interested in Suarez, would the title-elects be foolish to sell the Uruguayan striker?
Thursday 17 April 2014
Manchester City’s 2-2 draw with Sunderland looks to have dashed their hopes of reclaiming the Premier League title, with current leaders Liverpool leading Manuel Pellegrini’s side by six points having played a game more. As one of the most dramatic seasons in recent memory heads to its boiling point, the Reds are proving all of the doubters wrong that they could maintain a realistic title charge.
Should they beat Chelsea in 10 days’ time and win their other three matches, Liverpool will pick up their first top-flight crown since 1990. This would be largely down to the formidable strike partnership of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, who have scored 29 and 20 goals this campaign respectively. But would it be so absurd that should they land the title, having already essentially secured a Champions League return, to cash in and sell Luis Suarez to Real Madrid in the summer?
Given that the Reds firmly rejected Arsenal’s approach of £40m last season, the Uruguayan striker could command in the region of £60m this summer after proving himself as one of the most lethal finishers in football today. Liverpool also have the added bonus of tying the 27-year-old down to a four-year contract earlier this season, meaning that not only would it strengthen their hand in not being rushed into any negotiations, they can also demand a higher fee.
The notion of selling your best striker ahead of making a return to the Champions League is almost ludicrous, but in Sturridge, the Merseyside club already have an outstanding replacement that has flourished this season under the guidance of Brendan Rodgers. The Englishman has taken his tally to the 20 mark for the first time in his career, and is expected to lead the line for England at the World Cup in Brazil later this year.
Not only would £60m from selling Suarez allow serious reinvestment in another striker or two, but Liverpool would also benefit hugely from Champions League revenue as well as the Premier League broadcasting rights deal that came into effect this season. This would give Rodgers a serious transfer budget to further strengthen a team that has come on leaps and bounds this term.
One option could be to demand a player exchange in any sale of Suarez, and with Real harbouring talents such as Karim Benzema, Alvaro Morata and Jese – though the latter is sidelined with a long-term knee injury – they could certainly look to accept a reduced fee with a swap deal involved. Both Benzema and Morata have been linked with an exit in the past, although Benzema has performed terrifically this season alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, scoring 21 goals this season for the Spanish club.
They could also look to invest the money elsewhere, with the future of Edinson Cavani uncertain as he considers life with Paris St-Germain having played second fiddle to Zlatan Ibrahimovic all season. They could also look to Italian striker Mario Balotelli, who has been linked with a move from AC Milan having incurred a turbulent time since returning to his homeland, while Edin Dzeko and Loic Remy could also be available when the transfer window opens.
But since pushing for an Anfield exit last year, Suarez has settled down with the club and has become a favoured figure for the Kop faithful who would be devastated if he were to leave after such a strong season, and the fulfilled promise of giving him Champions League football would certainly be enough to keep him around for the foreseeable future. Given their strong stance on not bowing to any pressure in selling their star man, the likelihood is Real or any other suitors will have to perform a miracle to lure him away from his current club.
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