Ajax Forward Luis Suarez Close To Signing with Liverpool

Jon FeatonbyCorrespondent IJanuary 19, 2011

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - OCTOBER 19:  Luis Suarez of AFC Ajax steps over Stephane Grichting of AJ Auxerre during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between AFC Ajax and AJ Auxerre at the Amsterdam ArenA on October 19, 2010 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

The Daily Mail is reporting that Ajax striker Luis Suarez could soon become Kenny Daglish’s first signing as Liverpool manager.

John W. Henry, whose company New England Sports Ventures owns Liverpool, was pictured having dinner yesterday evening with Suarez’s agent Pere Guardiola.

Suarez has 110 goals in 154 appearances for Ajax to go with his 16 international strikes.

Earlier this week it seemed that any potential move was off as the Anfield side were put off by the £27 million price tag Ajax had placed on Suarez.

It now seems as though Ajax may have shifted in their valuation, and Ryan Babel could move in the opposite direction if a deal goes through.

Liverpool had accepted an offer from Hoffenheim for the Dutch winger, but Babel’s agent has indicated that his client would prefer to join Ajax.

Suarez’s arrival would fill a gaping hole in Liverpool’s squad. Fans have long argued that a second high quality striker should be added to provide support to Fernando Torres, whose form and fitness problems this season are well documented.

However, Liverpool’s needs are many. Liverpool sit 13th in the Premier League and are out of both the FA and League Cups.

For my money, the main reason for their struggles is not the lack quality centre-forwards.

While some may point fingers at Roy Hodgson, he inherited a squad lacking depth and quality. A midfield that only a few years ago was one of the best in the Premier League now looks devoid of creativity. Xavi Alonso has never been replaced, nor has the skill and brilliance of Luis Garcia.

The “defensive” midfielders, for lack of a better term, who now start regularly for Liverpool—namely Lucas and Christian Poulsen—are not in the same class of player as Dietmar Hamann and Javier Mascherano.

This is an area that needs addressing urgently, and the defensive frailties which began to show last season and have carried over into this season will be a major concern for Daglish and his coaching staff.

Suarez is undoubtedly a player of immense ability, but with limited funds apparently available to Daglish, he should not be at the top of the January shopping list.