After lighting up the Premier League to the tune of 23 goals a season ago, Luis Suarez is the hottest name on the transfer market this summer.
While the Liverpool star appears ready to move on and play for a UEFA Champions League contender, the Reds want their top scorer to stick around as they look to build a winner.
As BBC Sport's Ben Smith reports, both Arsenal and Real Madrid have been linked to Suarez this offseason, but the Gunners have been pursuing the Uruguayan international hard in the recent days and weeks. The latest bid from Arsenal was worth £40 million plus an additional £1, according to Sky Sports. The amount triggered a clause in Suarez's contract that forces Liverpool to inform the player of the bid.
But more importantly, Liverpool have dismissed their Premier League rivals' bid, according to the Sky Sports report, and the club is reportedly asking for something in the range of £50 million, according to the Mirror's John Cross:
Liverpool admitted for the first time they will sell Luis Suarez, after the player told them he wants to talk to Arsenal.
However, Anfield boss Brendan Rodgers has put a £50 million price on the head of his Uruguay striker.
While the price tag itself isn't good news for Arsenal, the fact that Liverpool have a price in mind is encouraging for the Gunners, who must feel that Suarez makes them an instant threat to win the English Premier League and make a deep run in the Champions League next season.
But just because Liverpool have a figure in mind for Suarez, doesn't mean it will be reached.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers recently spoke on the subject, confirming the popular belief that the Reds would prefer not to see Suarez go this summer, even if the money is convincing, per Sky Sports:
There's been a lot of speculation over the course of the close season but the reality is that he's a player who is very much valued at Liverpool.
And unless there's any sort of offer that comes in that's anywhere near his value, there's nothing to consider. We haven't had that.
Rodgers went on to add that although every player has a worth, that doesn't mean they must or should be sold. It's not about how much Arsenal are willing to pay for Suarez, though, as much as it is the fact that Suarez is growing discontent at Anfield.
His heart is elsewhere, and if Liverpool move forward with him on the squad they will risk dealing with a mighty distraction throughout the season.
This battle still has a way to go, but it appears as if Suarez's desire to play elsewhere will win out. Clearly, Rodgers and Liverpool have made a hard-fought attempt to change the 26-year-old's mind and convince him to stick around.
But little has changed on the player's end, and Suarez's mind looks to be made up already.
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