Liverpool can rest easy over the immediate future of Luis Suarez after Real Madrid president Florentino Perez announced the Spaniards have no interest in a January move for any player.
Suarez went public during the summer with his desire to join the Madrid giants, but a formal approach never materialised as Liverpool instead successfully rebuffed Arsenal’s advances.
David Anderson of the Daily Mirror had reported that Madrid would bid for the Uruguayan in January, but Perez answered that claim at Sunday’s annual general meeting.
“We will not be signing anyone in January,” announced Perez, per Pete Jenson of the Daily Mail.
Madrid do not appear to have an immediate need for a striker, having added the world-record transfer of Gareth Bale to a squad already boasting Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema. They have scored 12 times in five La Liga matches, winning four and drawing one.
If any additions are required to Carlo Ancelotti’s squad they are necessary in a defence that was pulled apart by Villarreal in a recent 2-2 draw. Pepe and Sergio Ramos never look the most reliable partnership, both guilty of the occasional reckless lunge, while Ancelotti has had to rely on rookie full-backs in Daniel Carvajal and Nacho Fernandez.
The news is timely for Liverpool, who await Suarez’s return to the fold for their midweek League Cup showdown with Manchester United.
He is likely to walk straight back into the team after Liverpool looked toothless without the injured Philippe Coutinho against Southampton, who deservedly won 1-0 at Anfield on Saturday.
Brendan Rodgers’ side have coped well in Suarez’s absence during his 10-game ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic, going unbeaten in the first nine fixtures until the weekend loss to Saints.
Luis Suarez has been banned for 25 matches since 2010 without receiving a red card.— Uber Football Facts (@UberFotbalFacts) September 22, 2013
Kolo Toure says Suarez has been making life hell for Liverpool’s new defenders in training and is ready to torment opposition defences, beginning with United at Old Trafford. Dominic King of the Daily Mail provides the quotes:
Luis Suarez has been very difficult to play against in training lately—very, very difficult. His return is going to be massive for us, definitely. He is a winner. He wants to win. I’m sure he will be ready to be thrown back in.
Will he be ready? You saw from his international appearance the other week, in the first game he’d played for a while he scored twice (for Uruguay). That just shows how strong a guy he is. Suarez is a fighter. We want those kind of players in our team.
Should Suarez start at United?
Suarez’s presence will allow Rodgers to field Victor Moses, Daniel Sturridge and the Uruguayan in a three-pronged attack, which can be supported by Coutinho when the Brazilian returns.
Against Southampton, without both Suarez and Coutinho, Liverpool lacked ingenuity and imagination but, following Perez's announcement, they should at least be able to count on Suarez's services for the rest of the season—unless suspension strikes again.