There should be no doubt that Real Madrid and Barcelona want Luis Suarez. Who wouldn’t, by the way? But what is crucial here is what the player wants. And, if an agreement is reached with Liverpool, he would prefer to go to one of those clubs.
FC Barcelona is the club he wants to play for.
Real Madrid have slowed down their pursuit (President Florentino Perez thought it was getting close to tied up after months of conversations with this entourage, and they will continue trying even though they know Suarez would prefer Barcelona). Just in case, Real have also turned their attentions to Radamel Falcao. The Monaco player is happy to join them, but the negotiations with the Ligue 1 club have not started yet. So we will have to wait and see on that one.
Real boss Carlo Ancelotti has asked for another No. 9 and for Alvaro Morata to move on. The problem with that is that nobody (not even Arsenal, who have a personal agreement with the player if a deal can be reached with Madrid) wants to pay the €30 million asked by Madrid, so even a loan deal is a possibility. Madrid are exploring all avenues.
Barcelona, meanwhile, are trying to do all they can to get Suarez. Neymar, Messi and Suarez? Now that would be a mouth-watering prospect.
Suarez loves Barcelona, and he spends time there. His most recent trip was just before the World Cup. His in-laws live in Castelldefels, only 20 minutes from Barcelona, and that is where his wife—Sofia Balbi, the most important person in his life and crucial to the maturing process the player has undergone—also spends time in their family home with their first daughter, born in Barcelona, and their son, born in Liverpool.
As well as a very important family decision, Suarez wants to be part of the rebuilding process taking place in Barcelona. His signature has been close in the past, but his previous clubs showed more interest.
What about Liverpool? They have been preparing for Plan B for months. But as it is hard to find a replacement, another suggestion has come up. How about Suarez (with at least two different buy-out clauses, one for English clubs and one for European ones reported to be €85 million) in exchange for Alexis Sanchez and perhaps Pedro, and even money on top?
Barcelona would be happy to have them as part of the deal; hence the suggestion by Pedro that he has to think about his future (he feels he is not wanted and wants to talk to director of football Andoni Zubizarreta before taking a decision). It explains the auction taking place at the moment for Alexis. Juventus want him but can’t offer the same wages as Liverpool, who could make him the best-paid player at the club.
So, Barcelona quite clearly will do whatever they can to get Suarez, because they have been tipped off by his entourage that he will be more than willing to join them. And even Leo Messi would be happy to have him in the team.
Real Madrid got the same message for months, by the way, and when Florentino Perez suggested recently that Suarez might actually want to go to Barcelona, the answer he got was that he will go wherever he is wanted. And that if he was not wanted enough, he would happily stay at Liverpool. This is an important message that is being repeated around the player: If Real and Barcelona do not find the money, he will happily stay at Liverpool. I guess he wants to keep friends everywhere.
The battle is then between Barcelona and Madrid for the player. But they will both have to put a lot of money on the table and so far, both clubs are wanting to pay less than the buy-out clause suggests. But negotiations will continue. A source close to the negotiations has added, “he would stay at Liverpool and still be happy if nothing happens.”
It is still too early to say that he is leaving Anfield, but Barcelona and Real Madrid will try to convince Brendan Rodgers that it is best to sell his player.
Would you swap Luis Suarez for Alexis plus another player?