If it’s going to happen, it has to happen soon.
Luis Suarez has had one foot out the door at Anfield since the Premier League term ended, and if Liverpool hope to make him happy and give him a reason to not jump ship, they need to make something happen on the transfer market first.
Manager Brendan Rodgers seems to understand that. According to Alex Varney of talkSPORT, Rodgers has been speaking with Suarez every day and noted that the club has to bring in some reinforcements this summer:
We communicate in some way nearly every day either through text or conversations. Over the course of the last few months and towards the end of the season there has been a lot of speculation with Luis, but the fact is it remains the same. We value the player. He had a terrific season for us last year and showed his qualities. Since then I've been in communication with him through texts and conversations on the phone and it [the situation] is pretty much the same. He is a valued player. He is an absolute magician on the field.
Luis is a real competitor, a real winner. He wants Liverpool to do so well but, like every player, every manager, and more importantly every football club, they want to be working at the very highest level. At the minute he is on a break, he is relaxing with his family. We are in constant communication. He has got three years left on his contract, we don’t want to sell him, and we hope everything will be fine for the summer. We want to bring in few more players to reinforce the group and we think we can put up a real fight next season.
Generally, two things make a disgruntled player change his mind about leaving: winning and money.
Suarez still has three years on his sizable contract. Money isn’t an issue.
But if Rodgers hopes to keep the striker at Anfield for those final three years, he’ll have to focus on putting the best players he can around Suarez.
As quoted in late May by Sky Sports, the 26-year-old Uruguayan feels the English media has treated him unfairly, giving Suarez a reason to want to leave Liverpool with his sights set on another elite club:
My family have suffered and things got out of hand. My daughter and my wife have suffered. I'm not prepared to continue to put up with the English press. I love Liverpool, but if there is a chance of playing somewhere else...I suffered too much as a kid to get where I am to be attacked unfairly by the English press. They haven't appreciated me as a player, they've just judged my attitude.
Liverpool can’t do anything about the media any more than they can change the weather. If Suarez has had enough with his treatment from the press, nothing is going to change his attitude.
So for Rodgers and Liverpool, the goal should be to make Suarez as happy as possible at Anfield—meaning the transfer window will be a big opportunity to add pieces to help the striker win.
It also doesn’t hurt that Rodgers is so adamant about keeping Suarez at Anfield, despite the constant rumours of interest from other clubs.
Do you think Luis Suarez will stay at Liverpool this summer?
John Cross of the Daily Mirror reports that Arsenal are unwilling to rule out making a move for Suarez, and as Rodgers made a point to note in Varney's report, he has no intention of letting a transfer happen:
“We are in constant communication. He has got three years left on his contract, we don't want to sell him, and we hope everything will be fine for the summer.”
The idea of Arsenal making a big-money move is hard to conceive based on their recent transfer strategy, but the possibility is always there, especially with Arsene Wenger reportedly having about £70 million to spend this summer.
Rodgers is already doing his part in keeping in constant communication with Suarez and fending off advancing clubs in pursuit of the striker. Now he must go one step further in hunting down some additional talent to increase Liverpool’s chances of contending in the Premier League next term.
There’s no guarantee that pursuit will end with Suarez staying at Anfield, but at this point, Rodgers only has his best player to lose.