Liverpool will hold firm in their stance against selling Luis Suarez if, as reported, Real Madrid make a January approach for the Uruguayan.
The Reds battled hard to see off Arsenal’s bid for Suarez during the summer and now face speculation Madrid will come knocking, but Brendan Rodgers will attempt to fend off the Spaniards, according to Paul Collins of the Daily Mail:
Liverpool are braced for Real Madrid to return with a £45 million bid for star striker Luis Suarez in January. [...]
After forking out £86million for [Gareth Bale] they did not want to pay Liverpool's asking price of £55m for Suarez (during the summer).
Liverpool would still demand the same fee in January and any potential transfer would depend on how the sides are performing by December.
News of Madrid’s fresh interest was sparked by Gary Jones’ article for the Daily Star on Wednesday, which claimed a £42 million deal is already being worked on by the La Liga club:
Spanish TV station Punto Pelota claims the Uruguayan international is desperate to leave Anfield, while his representatives are already talking to the La Liga giants.
Madrid will have to splash some serious cash for Suarez however, with £42m being the price Liverpool will agree to.
What is Suarez worth?
Liverpool’s stance has been clear all along. They want to keep their star player and, if he truly wants to leave, they will demand his market value.
Rodgers has previously alluded to the summer’s transfer of Edinson Cavani to PSG for £55 million, insisting that acted as an indicator for the true worth of compatriot Suarez.
Arsenal were mocked by the Reds for their summer bid of £40,000,001, prompting the memorable tweet of owner John W. Henry:
What do you think they're smoking over there at Emirates?— John W. Henry (@John_W_Henry) July 24, 2013
It is likely a £42 million approach by Madrid would draw a similar response, particularly as Suarez has only added to his value this season.
The tricky forward netted two in his Premier League comeback at Sunderland and has been declared "as hungry as he ever has done" by Steven Gerrard, who expects him to stay at Anfield, as reported by Sky Sports.
Lucas Leiva recently summed up the impact Suarez has on a club, telling Liverpool’s official website:
Luis was the best player in the Premier League last year, so having him in our side again this season is just a real boost for all the team and the squad.
He's really happy to be back. He's always been training with us, but now he's available to help us in the official games, it will be much better.
We just hope he can have the same season that he had last year because he was a really important player for us.
Rodgers recently hailed Suarez’s partnership with Daniel Sturridge as the best in the league, making the prospect of the striker’s midseason departure even less likely.
To the contrary, Rodgers will want to get Philippe Coutinho back from injury to feed his strike duo before bolstering his side further in the next window.
The sale of Suarez—who still has over two years on his contract—will be at the bottom of his plans, so Madrid will need to pay far more than £42 million to land the player.