First it was a rumor with no legs. Then it was a potential problem that might develop. Then it was almost a done deal. Now, the Luis Suarez saga is just getting ugly.
The Uruguay international has been at the precipice of transfer speculation since the window opened at the beginning of last month, and perhaps with the exception of the Wayne Rooney-Manchester United ongoing battle, no other story has piqued as much interest.
Well, it didn't seem possible, but it's about to get a lot more compelling.
Luis Suarez is prepared to take legal action against Liverpool in a bid to force through his protracted move to Arsenal, as the controversial striker was snapped leaving training at the club's Melwood complex on Tuesday.
The Uruguay forward believes the Anfield club are reneging on a clause in his contract he thinks entitles him to leave should a Champions League side make a formal offer of over £40million — a step the Gunners have already taken.
Liverpool are disputing the clause, insisting they are obliged only to inform Suarez of the offer.
This is intriguing because Arsenal seemed to be on the same thought process as Suarez when they made a cheeky bid of £40,000,001 last month, thinking that the additional one pound would trigger the release clause.
Where will Luis Suarez be playing once the transfer window closes?
No matter how this plays out—whether the contract states Liverpool only have to consider £40 million bids or actually let their superstar go for that price—it's pretty clear that Suarez's time in Liverpool is about to be kaput.
If we've learned anything, it's that anything and everything that happens during these months is 100 percent unpredictable. But Suarez taking legal action against Liverpool—and possibly even suing—is basically akin to him burning all his bridges to Anfield.
Now, let's take a look at some other less-publicized chatter surrounding Liverpool.
Diego Costa Won't Replace Suarez
There has been increased talk about Liverpool's interest in Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa as of late, but Los Colchoneros sporting director Jose Luis Caminero quickly put an end to that speculation.
News comes via the Mirror:
Liverpool transfer target Diego Costa is poised to have a massive goalscoring season, at Atletico Madrid.
Atletico's sporting director Jose Luis Caminero has today reportedly reiterated the club's no-sale stance on Costa, after the player himself yesterday poured cold water on attempts to move him to Anfield.
Caminero said: "Diego Costa is a very important player for Atletico; we value him very highly and we are convinced that this year he is going to score a lot of goals with Atletico.
Still, Liverpool faithful should see this as a bit of a blessing in disguise.
The 24-year-old Brazilian is undoubtedly talented. He has rock-solid strength that he uses to establish good position and serve as a dangerous threat in the aerial game. Although he may not play like the typical flashy Brazilian, he is an incredibly hard worker who puts a lot of pressure on the defense and gets the job done.
But is 10 goals and seven assists in 31 La Liga contests enough production to warrant a £21.8 million bid?
That's debatable, but if his unavailability is indeed true, it's certainly not a colossal loss.
Say Goodbye to Stewart Downing?
According to The Guardian's Andy Hunter, Stewart Downing is close to being sold by Liverpool:
The Middlesbrough-born midfielder is valued at around £5m by Liverpool and has an uncertain Anfield future under Brendan Rodgers, despite forcing his way into the manager's plans impressively in the second half of last season.
Eesh. If you'll remember, the English international joined the Reds two summers ago for £20 million, marking this potential move as a would-be £15 million loss.
In 29 EPL appearances last season, Downing, who played up and down both wings, scored three goals and tallied five assists, but as Hunter noted, he played much better down the stretch.
The 29-year-old is still a serviceable player, but his future at Liverpool will depend on the outlook of Brendan Rodgers' first team, which in turn will depend on what happens with Suarez, Costa and others this month.
Stay tuned on this one.