Liverpool may be an extreme long shot to reach the Champions League this season, but things are looking up for the 2013-14 campaign. The Reds look like a squad that is some defensive depth and perhaps another midfielder away from being a legitimate contender next season.
Atletico are virtually certain to qualify for next season's Champions League. The club's directors are planning to cash in on Colombia international Falcao at peak value and replace him with Liverpool's Luis Suarez.
"We won't be making firm approaches until May but our objectives are absolutely clear," says an Atletico source. "We'll be back at the top level in Europe and we're not going to be short of quality when we get there."
Alongside Gareth Bale and Robin van Persie, Suarez is on the shortlist for the right to be called the Premier League's best player this season, with 22 goals and four assists in 28 league games. In total, Suarez has scored 25 goals in 31 total appearances for Liverpool.
For the Reds, he is indispensable. And for a team that hopes to contend for a league title or a spot in the Champions League next season, losing him over the summer would completely dash those dreams.
Before the Reds added Daniel Sturridge in January and while Fabio Borini was injured, Suarez alone was the Liverpool offense. In 28 league games, he's created 78 scoring chances for Liverpool.
To put that in perspective, Robin van Persie has created 49 chances for Manchester United in the same number of games.
Suarez has turned out to be the perfect fit atop Brendan Rodgers' possession-dominated system. His cutting runs and ability to take on defenders in one-on-one situations or unleash a shot with only a crack of daylight have been on full display this year.
So you can imagine how delighted Chelsea would be if they managed not only to land Falcao, but also to facilitate Suarez's transfer out of the league. The Blues would not only bolster their squad but weaken a major Champions League competitor.
Of course, these are still just rumors, and this entire scenario is unlikely to play out. It's hard to imagine Liverpool allowing Suarez to depart this summer for anything less than a sizable fortune.
But if they did allow Suarez to depart, well, Anfield wouldn't be a happy place next season, that much is for certain. Brendan Rodgers might be walking alone if Suarez isn't on the roster after the summer.