After a sensational 2013/2014 so far, Liverpool are set to do all they can to keep Luis Suarez at Anfield and on Tuesday began preliminary negotiations with the Uruguayan’s agent, according to various reports in the English papers on Wednesday.
Liverpool’s managing director Ian Ayre flew to Barcelona on Tuesday for preliminary negotiations with Pere Guardiola – brother of Pep and the agent of Suarez.
This marks a remarkable turnaround after Suarez had pushed for a move last summer with Arsenal making a bid for the Liverpool striker that was immediately rebuffed.
Suarez is currently contracted to Liverpool until 2016 and reportedly earns 130,000 pounds a week.
Tony Barrett of The Times newspaper claims the Merseyside giants have offered an increase to 200,000 pounds a week.
However, Andy Hunter writes in The Guardian: “There was no official contract offer put to Guardiola by Ayre. Their meeting was merely the start of what could prove a protracted process, with the brother of the Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola well aware of how highly Suárez’s stock has risen this season. Real Madrid were interested in the 26-year-old in the summer but did not lodge an official bid, although they are expected to again be among Suárez’s suitors at the end of this campaign.”
Hunter adds: “Liverpool hope to head off another summer of speculation over the striker’s future by offering to make Suárez the highest-paid player at Anfield at a time when his career is flourishing under Brendan Rodgers.”
Meanwhile, in the Daily Telegraph, Chris Bascombe also reports that “Relations between Liverpool and Guardiola were strained at times last summer but have generally been cordial and not unduly harmed by that period. However, the club know his motivation is not financial as he craves Champions League football.”
It would be some coup for Liverpool to hold on to Suarez but you feel the player and his savvy agent hold all the cards at the moment.
Suarez is not just looking for a Champions League spot next season but to play for a side that will challenge to win Europe’s premier competition.
And, with a World Cup this summer, these contract negotiations could run and run…