Liverpool Transfer Update: Luis Suarez Latest and Target Iago Aspas Saves Celta

Karl Matchett@@karlmatchettFeatured ColumnistJune 3, 2013

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 07:  Luis Suarez of Liverpool reacts during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and West Ham United at Anfield on April 7, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Liverpool have already been involved with regards to their summer transfer activity, agreeing to a deal to bring in Kolo Toure on a free transfer from Manchester City. Their next rumoured signing is Celta Vigo's Iago Aspas, while star forward Luis Suarez is said to want a move away.

The Reds will be hoping to convince Suarez to remain at Anfield for another season as they aim to get back into the Champions League places and secure a top-four Premier League finish for the first time since 2009, and it seems the club is prepared to play hardball to do so.

Suarez was initially reported to want to leave Liverpool and had already agreed to a deal of £140,000 per week with Real Madrid, according to John Cross of Mirror Football, which left a deal with Liverpool needing to be agreed upon for the move to go through. Those earliest reports claimed just £25 million would be the total fee, comprising the majority in cash and a part-exchange with Jose Callejon to make up the remainder.

Putting questions of the suitability and quality of Real's bit-part players aside (anyone remember Antonio Nunez?), Liverpool quickly denounced, via the BBC, any plans to sell the forward, stating that they continued to support the player through his present suspension and they expected him to see out his contract.

Suarez's agent also stated to Simon Head of Mirror Football that his client was more than happy at Liverpool and had no plans to leave.

Still, rumours and speculation continued to surround the striker over the weekend, and further reports emerged Saturday and Sunday over the club's stance.

With Suarez only having signed a new long-term contract last summer, the ball is definitely in Liverpool's court, and the club are not expecting to have to sell the Uruguayan unless he specifically asks for a transfer, according to Chris Bascombe of The Telegraph. Even then, Andy Hunter of The Guardian is reporting that any suitors will have to pay a record fee to prise Suarez from Anfield.

Following on from Fernando Torres' exit in 2011, that means Suarez won't be leaving for less than £50 million, more than twice what the Reds paid for him at the same time the Spanish striker departed.

Should Suarez leave, and there is no doubt much, much more to yet play out from this story before its conclusion, former manager Graeme Souness does not believe Liverpool will be in a position to challenge for the top four in the Premier League. Souness believes Suarez's importance to the team is so great that even with additional funds, they will not be able to replicate his quality in the final third, as per Sky Sports.

To that end, Simon Jones of the Daily Mail claims that Aston Villa's Christian Benteke is one of the possibilities for Brendan Rodgers to sign if Suarez does leave.

One man who already appears to be on his way to Liverpool, though, regardless of Suarez's situation, is Celta Vigo's Iago Aspas.

The forward has agreed to terms on a €10 million move for this summer, according to Mirror Football, and this weekend he played what seems to be his final game for Celta.

He made a telling contribution, too, claiming an assist for the only goal of the game, earning a win that helped save Celta from relegation from the Spanish top flight.

Iago Aspas scored 12 goals and claimed seven assists from his 34 La Liga appearances this season, with Celta avoiding relegation by a single point on the last day after their 1-0 win over Espanyol.

The Spanish forward seems to have been targeted as a fourth forward option along with Suarez, Fabio Borini and Daniel Sturridge, so if Suarez eventually departs, it seems likely that the Reds will have to look for another player up front rather than using Aspas as Suarez's replacement.

His versatility in playing anywhere along the front line will be of great value to the Reds, as will his ability to hit the back of the net as Liverpool search for more goals and balance in the team next season.

Player data from WhoScored.com