Luis Suarez: Ranking Next Possible Destinations for Wantaway Liverpool Striker
After two-and-a-half tumultuous years on Merseyside, Luis Suarez may be moving on from Liverpool in the current transfer window.
There have been few complaints with the Uruguayan's record. Suarez has netted 51 goals in 96 games for the Reds, despite being part of a failing team and playing under conditions of constant instability. To keep up a record of more than one goal every two games in a side that had four managers in three years is very impressive indeed.
A string of controversies, however, have made the star's continuity in Liverpool appear under threat. And there will be no shortage of possible destinations for one of the deadliest strikers in world football.
The following, ordered most to least likely, is a selection of the places Suarez could be popping up to play in 2013-14.
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Rumours linking the prolific scorer with Spanish giants Real Madrid have been among the most consistent so far in the transfer window, but you can bet that Suarez is just one name in the Merengue files.
At the end of May, Suarez admitted to Uruguayan radio station 890 Sport (via The Guardian) that he was flattered by the reports placing him in the Bernabeu for the coming season:
"I've talked to my agent, there's nothing concrete. To say no to Madrid would always be difficult and more so with the team they have. I have a contract with Liverpool, but it would be very difficult to say no to Real Madrid."
From the club end, meanwhile, Madrid president Florentino Perez admitted that Suarez was one of the players he admired, alongside fellow hitmen "Edinson Cavani and Robert Lewandowski." The chief was coy when asked about the interest but confessed he was a big fan of the combative Uruguayan.
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With all the talk surrounding Suarez and his next home, we should still not rule out the possibility of the Uruguayan staying put. He has had his troubles in Anfield, but the club have made it clear they want him to play next season in the famous red shirt.
Former Liverpool stalwart Jamie Carragher, speaking to ITV (as reported in the Daily Mail) believes that Suarez would do well to continue with his current employers:
'I think he might stay. Some big clubs will be interested in him because he is such a top player and that is something we have to accept...He signed a contract last summer and he has a few years left and hopefully we can keep him."
The Uruguayan is still under contract until 2016, and any club who wishes to purchase his talents will have to put in a bid tempting enough to force Brendan Rodgers' hand.
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With Mario Gotze joining a forward line that boasts the likes of Mario Mandzukic, Mario Gomez, Thomas Muller and Arjen Robben, it may not seem that Bayern Munich need to bolster their attack. Hungry for more success, however, the side, now coached by Pep Guardiola, want to consolidate their new title of best team on the planet.
The Mirror highlighted that Suarez is represented by Pep's brother Pere Guardiola in their report linking the striker with Bavaria.
With Lewandowski looking unlikely to cross over the Bundesliga from Dortmund, Suarez would be a more than adequate alternative for the triple-winners and current Champions League holders.
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Just like Bayern, Barca do not appear to have the greatest need to venture out into the transfer market, at least not for a frontman. Brazilian sensation Neymar is signed and ready to take his place in the team, but there could still be a place for Suarez in Camp Nou.
The exit of David Villa to Atletico Madrid and the continued failure of Alexis Sanchez to find his best form with the Blaugrana mean the move is not as far-fetched as it may seem. The Express, citing a report from AS in Spain, affirmed back in April that the Catalans could offer Suarez a way out of Anfield in the coming window.
The Uruguayan's strong contacts inside Barca, thanks to agent Guardiola, could serve as a way in to Camp Nou, but as the rumour trail has run cold in recent weeks, such a transfer appears unlikely.
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At the start of the transfer window, Turin appeared one of the more likely destinations for the Uruguayan goal machine. Serie A champions but lacking the firepower to compete on the European stage, Suarez was presented as the perfect choice for Antonio Conte and his side.
The arrival of Carlos Tevez is a large hurdle, though. The Argentine, who as Sky Sports reported will wear the No. 10 shirt in Juventus Stadium, is the big-name forward Juve were looking for, and with that signing Suarez's chances of moving to northern Italy are more remote.
Still, Conte's ambition may breathe life into the deal. Asked whether he would take Suarez, Gonzalo Higuain or Zlatan Ibrahimovic by Gazzetta dello Sport, the trainer and former Juve legend responded, "You can't say no to any of them! I'd take all three. They wouldn't be enough to win the Champions League anyway..."