Liverpool Transfer Rumours: Reds Must Reject Barcelona's Luis Suarez Advances

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 21, 2014

Uruguay's Luis Suarez sings the national anthem before the group D World Cup soccer match between Uruguay and England at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, June 19, 2014. FIFA has unintentionally created some of the most emotional and patriotic moments of the World Cup. It limits national anthems to 90 seconds so they can get the World Cup games going quickly. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Matt Dunham/Associated Press

Another summer, another slew of Luis Suarez rumours. At least Liverpool supporters are accustomed to this sort of thing by now.

The latest is quite the doozy, however. While last summer it was Arsenal and Real Madrid which seemed keen to chase Suarez—and Real Madrid still seem interested, for what that's worth—a new club has entered the fray. Perhaps you've heard of the plucky Catalan side?

Yes, that's right, Barcelona are now rumoured to have their sights set on Suarez. John Drayton of the Daily Mail has more:

Barcelona are set to beat rivals Real Madrid to the £52m signing of Luis Suarez, according to Spanish paper El Mundo Deportivo.

The deposed La Liga champions plan to partner the Uruguayan striker with Lionel Messi and Neymar, with a deal reportedly close to completion.

The paper report that Liverpool inserted a release clause of £68m in Suarez's last contract, but this is reduced to £52m if Barcelona or Real Madrid express an interest.

Goodness, can you imagine an attacking trio of Messi, Suarez and Neymar? Sure, there are questions whether three leading men could all coexist, but the blitzkrieg of goals that would follow if it did would be something to see. 

After the season Suarez had, it shouldn't come as a surprise that top clubs are pining to acquire his services. After all, he just scored 31 goals and added 12 assists in 33 Premier League games for Liverpool, earning an 8.43 average match rating at, tops in the league by a wide margin. 

Of course he's coveted. But after the season he had with Liverpool—and after helping them reach Champions League football once again—surely he isn't going anywhere, right? 


Well, maybe. The thing is, it seems Suarez still feels he has been treated unfairly in England. In fact, he went so far as to say so after he scored a brace against the country in the World Cup with Uruguay. From Bleacher Report UK:

He had more to say than that, as Alex Richards of the Mirror passed along:

It was one of the best games I've played. It's an amazing moment for me. Maybe a few days ago I thought this wouldn't be possible. Before the game too many people in England laughed about my attitude over the last few years. This is a very good time for me. I want to see what they think now.

Oh boy. 

It's such an odd stance for Suarez to take. The English public haven't bitten two different players out on the pitch. They didn't racially abuse Patrice Evra. Heck, they didn't repeatedly dive. 

But the Liverpool faithful did stand by Suarez through his transgressions. They gave him more than a second chance. And it seemed as though Suarez had rewarded that support with an epic season. He signed a new contract. He openly wept when Liverpool blew their chance to win a league title against Crystal Palace.

Alastair Grant/Associated Press

It seemed as though everyone had moved on from the past, including Suarez. But perhaps not.

Suffice to say, that has plenty in England—namely, in Liverpool—reading between the lines. Ian Holloway of the Mirror has already assumed the worst:

So, I was dismayed to read Suarez’s quotes after the game. If it really was an exercise in trying to shift the blame for his past ­indiscretions, then Suarez really needs help.

But I don’t think it was.

It is the worst-kept secret in football that Real Madrid have coveted Suarez for the last 12 months.

By transforming himself back into Public Enemy No.1 with words designed to annoy anyone and everyone who doesn’t support Liverpool, he gives himself the perfect excuse to walk away, should Madrid make a move.

Now, a lot of this is conjecture, of course. Suarez may have simply been lost in the moment, caught up in the whirlwind of a year he's had, overcome by some sense of personal retribution. Athletes use things like "the doubters" and "the haters" all the time to motivate themselves. Playing against England, perhaps that's what he was doing, using the entire English public as motivation. 

But Holloway could be on to something. From all accounts, Suarez tried to push a move out of Liverpool a summer ago. Perhaps he intends to do the same again. 

Michael Sohn/Associated Press

If that's the case, the Reds have to go on full damage control. With Suarez and a few other signings, they have the talent to win a league title and compete in the Champions League. Without him, however, it's back to the drawing board for a team that took such a big step in the right direction last year. 

Somewhere, Brendan Rodgers is hearing about the rumours and listening to Suarez's comments and breaking out in a sweat. Or maybe it's just deja vu. Whatever the case may be, he and Liverpool need to nip all of this talk in the bud sooner rather than later.

If they don't, well, don't be surprised if you see Suarez running around in a Barca kit next season.

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