Ever since Luis Suarez stated his desire to leave Liverpool (and England, sort of), the club’s stance up to the present date has been the same – ‘The player is not for sale’.
Real Madrid were seen as the front runners for the Uruguayan but following their pursuit of Gareth Bale, Luis has become target No. 1 for Arsenal. Many believed it was just paper talk though; Arsenal can’t possibly spend £40 million on one player, can they?!
Whilst adamant the player isn’t for sale, Rodgers echoed the fans’ sentiments: ‘Every player has their price’. The price, in the case of Luis Suarez, was believed to be £40 million as stated in his contract. However, the true meaning of release clause has created an ever growing divide between player and club, with Suarez not ruling out going to court to settle the matter.
If (and it’s a big IF) Liverpool buckle under pressure and sell to Arsenal, it would have to be for a much higher transfer fee than Real Madrid because let’s face it, Arsenal are direct competition for that elusive Champions League spot, and there lies the problem.
There are three realistic outcomes to this soap opera.
Suarez could join Arsenal for £50 million and the top four could be complete before the season even begins despite Liverpool splashing the cash on replacements.
He could stay on 100,000 a week, not give 100%, his price could drop and by January 2014/June 2014 it could damage team morale and the money they’d get won’t be substantial enough to replace a player of such quality.
Or… Real Madrid could buy Luis Suarez after completing their world record purchase of Gareth Bale, Liverpool could strengthen without strengthening their rivals, and cause tension in the Gunners’ camp over the lack of A-List signings.
Only one of those outcomes benefits Liverpool and in all honesty, it’s the least likely. Before Suarez’s latest outburst things were going swimmingly; you could believe Rodgers’ comments that he understood the club’s stance and was committed to stay. But now the player’s position is untenable, with North London a likely stopping point on this runaway Uruguayan train.