Liverpool rejects Arsenal’s latest bid for Luis Suárez
Rather than being grateful that someone is willing to take Suárez off his hands for a fair price, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers got shirty over the request.
“Obviously (Arsenal’s first bid of £35 million) was an offer we didn’t deem worthy of the talent and even if they came back with that kind of amount (£55 million) there’s no guarantee he would be sold even for that because we are trying to build something here,” Rodgers told The Guardian.
Even if the club is bent out of shape over the offer, it still represents a 76 percent increase on the price that Liverpool originally paid for Suárez (£22.7 million). That’s not a bad return on investment.
Liverpool club officials have reportedly decided that since Paris Saint-Germain paid £55.6 million for Edinson Cavani, Suárez’ teammate on the Uruguayan national team, then they should receive the same kind of return for Suárez. They also think that Suárez is better than Fernando Torres, who Liverpool sold to Chelsea in January 2011 for more than £50 million, so they want a team to match those numbers.
Of course, you can’t really expect other teams to follow Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich’s lead when it comes to acquiring players. And it overlooks the fact that Torres has never been suspended for biting an opposing player (as far as we know) or faced charges over on-pitch racism – daily double that Suárez pulled off last season.
That makes this game of chicken that Liverpool is playing one that they very well may lose.
Arsenal threw in the extra pound on their transfer bid because Suárez has a clause in his contract that he must be “notified” that another team is interested in him if Liverpool receives a bid in excess of £40 million. (Who knew Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was a fan of The Price is Right strategy of bidding?)
Liverpool is not obligated to sell Suárez just because the contract clause was activated, so that extra pound was probably more showmanship than anything. But with the opening of the Premier League season just a few weeks away, the club is running out of time and opportunities to get something worthwhile for Suárez.
It’s not as if the club can’t use the money, either. Liverpool is planning to loan former starting goalkeeper Pepe Reina to Napoli because Liverpool doesn’t want to (the official version) or can’t afford to (the speculation version) pay Reina his £110,000 a week salary just to have him sit on the bench.
“It was my decision,” Rodgers told The Daily Mail in explaining the move. “I did that last year when I had decisions to make in pre-season for the financial stability of the club. That’s something I have obviously had to do this year as well.”
That’s a good company line, but we can’t help but wonder if the club’s owners haven’t told Rodgers that the budget isn’t what he hoped for, which would help explain Rodgers and chief executive Ian Ayre’s desire to squeeze every pound out of a possible Suárez transfer.
The window isn’t shut on Liverpool moving on from Suárez, but it is closing. The only downside, we suppose, is that the club holds firm and goes into the season with him still on the roster, which isn’t horrible.
We have a feeling, though, that this isn’t the last time we’ll be writing about this between now and the start of the season on Aug. 17.
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