Liverpool Transfer Rumors: 10 Reds Targets Who Could Replace Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez: Will he stay, or will he go?
There's been endless posturing from the Liverpool No. 7 this season, with the Uruguayan forward claiming on different occasions his love for the club and at the same time, his wish to leave Anfield, according to Sky Sports.
The latest news, as reported by the Guardian, is that Suarez has once again stated his desire to move away from Liverpool, where he is idolized by the club's fans despite a controversial career in English football, during which he has polarized opinions and attracted both lavish praise and widespread scorn.
Despite, or because of, all the furore surrounding Suarez's status at Liverpool, manager Brendan Rodgers has been hard at work in the transfer market, with Celta Vigo's Iago Aspas being touted for a Liverpool move in the coming weeks.
Without including Aspas, here are 10 Liverpool targets who might end up replacing Luis Suarez at Anfield.
Update on June 27, 2013: As of June 22, Liverpool have signed Luis Alberto from Sevilla in a £6.8 million deal, as reported by BBC Sport.
Our first target is a hot prospect who wouldn't be an instant replacement for Suarez, but rather a signing who might end up as an attacking talisman in the long term: Sevilla's Luis Alberto.
Alberto has just finished the season on loan at Barcelona B, where he notched 11 goals and 17 assists in the 2012-13 Segunda Division season and impressed with his all-round attacking play.
Rated at around £6 million according to Sky Sports, Alberto will not be joining Barcelona on a permanent basis in the close season, which releases a much-coveted and talented attacker onto the wider transfer market.
With 12 goals in just 17 Eredivisie appearances last term, Chadli also enjoyed a productive Europa League campaign, notching six goals in just nine games for the Dutch outfit.
Hailing from the Netherlands' top flight just like a certain Luis Suarez, Chadli's signing would add to an impressive Belgian contingent currently plying their trade in the English Premier League.
With 11 goals in 33 Premier League games for Wigan Athletic last season, Arouna Kone was an undisputed star of the Latics' campaign and is currently being linked with both Merseyside clubs, Liverpool and Everton, according to the Daily Star.
When he was snapped up by Wigan last summer, it was considered a coup after his impressive performances up front for Levante on loan from Sevilla in the previous season, and he duly followed it up with a series of good displays this term.
At 29, Kone would not fit Liverpool's usual age profile—but the experience and possible low transfer fee could persuade Rodgers to make a move.
Once the youngest ever Barcelona player to play in a La Liga match, Bojan Krkic was hailed as Camp Nou's newest striking hero—until he moved to Italy's AS Roma in 2011.
After seven goals in 33 Serie A appearances for Roma, Bojan moved to AC Milan on a season-long loan deal, but he only managed to score three goals in 19 league games for Milan.
With Brazilian superstar Neymar arriving at Barcelona and showing the way forward for the Catalan super-club, Bojan is reported by Sky Sports to be on the market this summer and has been linked with Liverpool and Swansea City.
Still only 22, Bojan has time on his side, and who knows? He could revive his reputation at Anfield if he ends up on English shores this summer.
This time last year, Liverpool were linked with a £4 million move for Jaguares hotshot Jackson Martinez, via the Daily Mail.
A year on, after FC Porto stepped in last summer and after a blockbuster season in Portugal with 26 goals in just 27 league games, the Reds are rumored to be back in for the Colombian forward—this time for a hefty bid of over £30 million, according to the Express.
Whether he is worth such an inflated fee is up for debate, but there is no doubt that Martinez almost guarantees goals—a bucket-load of them—and goals are what Brendan Rodgers would have to bring in if top scorer Luis Suarez does leave this summer.
With 11 goals and three assists in 22 Serie A appearances for Udinese last season, Luis Muriel has emerged as one of the hottest prospects in European football.
Often compared to Brazilian striking legend Ronaldo, Muriel, a full Colombian international, has been linked with Liverpool after his productive campaign in Italy, according to the Express.
Strong at dribbling and with an eye for goal, Muriel possesses many characteristics similar to Suarez and would be the most like-for-like replacement out of all candidates in this list.
Brendan Rodgers and his Liverpool players will be plenty familiar with Benteke's abilities, as the Belgian powerhouse forward tore apart the Reds defence in a famous two-goal performance at Anfield last December.
With 19 goals in his debut Premier League campaign, Benteke took the English top flight by storm and could be set to take his formidable physique and goal-scoring prowess to Anfield.
After yet another starring season with Ajax Amsterdam, where he scored 10 goals and provided 13 assists in 33 Eredivisie appearances, Christian Eriksen has become one of the hottest properties on the market this summer.
Eriksen, who excels both in off-the-ball movement and in the creative side of the game, would be an excellent replacement for Suarez, who of course shares a common playing history at Ajax.
Fresh off a 25-goal season in the Ukrainian top flight, Mkhitaryan has become one of the most coveted players in European football after his starring performances in an advanced position this season.
With impressive finishing, pace and composure, Mkhitaryan would be an ideal addition to the Liverpool first team this summer—with or without Luis Suarez.
That's right: Liverpool are being linked with Carlos Tevez (Mirror). Again.
Back in 2009, when Tevez was reportedly unsettled at Manchester United, Liverpool were linked, as reported by the Telegraph. In January 2012, then-Liverpool manager allegedly offered misfiring striker Andy Carroll in exchange for Tevez, according to the Guardian.
And now here they are again, with Tevez this time being just one year away from the end of his contract at the Etihad Stadium.
Tevez offers the polar opposite to Suarez: While the latter's controversies are on the field, and he appears as a family man off it, the Argentine forward has caused infamous problems off the field, while remaining totally committed to the football on it.
An interesting replacement if it does happen—not to mention that Tevez would offer the work rate and goals that would be required if Suarez does end up leaving Anfield.