Former Leeds United manager Neil Warnock believes Luis Suarez may have bitten Giorgio Chiellini in a bid to engineer a move away from Liverpool.
It wouldn’t surprise me if it [the bite] was planned. I know it sounds silly but I thought he would do something to trigger a move away. If all of these big clubs are after him, then it doesn’t surprise me at all. He may get banned for Uruguay but would still be able to play for a club. It wouldn’t surprise me if it was a clever act.
If there was any chance of Barcelona or Real Madrid coming in for him, he would be determined to get away this summer
Suarez is currently linked with both Spanish giants, per Ben Rumsby of the Telegraph. Even so, it would be a bold move to all but end his World Cup hopes with Uruguay in the hope one of these teams decide he is worth spending a large sum of cash on. If anything, the incident is likely to deter clubs from making an investment in the player, who has now bitten three opponents during play.
It's likely Suarez's transfer fee will have taken a hit after the incident, possibly one area where Warnock's argument makes sense. Despite being at the top of his game last season with 31 Premier League goals, Suarez's dwindling reputation ensures any offers to Liverpool can be tamed away from the world-record fee Brendan Rodgers once considered for his player.
Liverpool legends Jan Molby and Robbie Fowler have weighed in on the latest mishap in Suarez's career. Molby believes the Uruguayan will feel the full force of FIFA's wrath, the governing body is under pressure to punish him in front of a global audience.
"I'm shocked. The more you see it, the worst it looks. It's another incident where it's impossible to defend Luis Suarez," said Molby, via James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo. "For him to do it in such a high profile game, I'm sure FIFA will make an example out of him."
Fowler suggested Suarez's behaviour outweighs his value on the pitch, saying he "wouldn't be surprised" if the striker was forced to leave after Liverpool "tried to rehabilitate him," per Rostron-Pike.
The incident will certainly weigh heavy on the minds of Liverpool's board, and indeed, Rodgers. David Maddock of the Mirror believes club officials will meet to discuss Suarez's future after it emerged that FIFA "have the power to extend any ban to all football." The Reds would certainly feel aggrieved if they are impacted by the situation as it took place outside the realms of club football.
Rodgers has done all he can to help improve Suarez's reputation. It's remarkable to think the player will enter a second successive season where he could be banned for biting another player, after the Branislav Ivanovic incident last year. At some point, the Northern Irish manager and Liverpool may be forced to admit the player's brilliance doesn't outweigh his disciplinary track record.
While it seems unlikely Suarez would deliberately jeopardise the hopes of an entire nation to secure a club move—especially because his stock has lowered so dramatically with the event—it would be naive to put it beyond the player who seems to self destruct on an annual basis.
FIFA is expected to make a quick decision on any punishment, suggesting Suarez's immediate future will be decided soon.