The Luis Suarez saga is just getting interesting by the day. The want-away Liverpool striker has vented out his frustration for the first time in public yesterday since his return from international duty, further complicating the situation.
There are few grey areas over the situation and it could well happen that Suarez’ camp might take legal proceedings too, if the situation doesn’t get resolved within next few weeks.
One thing is certain – Liverpool must take a strong decision over the matter, and have to stick with it, till the end. The Reds have shown a doughty refusal to wilt under extreme pressure and with less than two weeks remaining before the start of a brand new season, the club certainly cannot collapse under any circumstances. That would be catastrophic.
Liverpool have always maintained the stance that the player is not up for sale. They have rejected two bids from Arsenal and insisted that the club won’t sell their player to any rival Premier League club. If they do, the buyer club will have to meet the player’s valuation, which Arsenal at the moment are way short of.
Fair enough. But were they prepared to find themselves in a position where the player would openly refuse to play for them, hinting of transfer request, tribunal, leaking inside talks and what not? And most importantly, are they prepared now to see this saga through till the end and keep hold of a player, who is simply bereft of energy, motivation and commitment?
It is that disputed clause around which most attention will now coalesce. Suarez believes that there is a written agreement that says the club must sell him if any Champions League club lodges bid over £40 million, something which was revealed by Arsenal’s £40 million plus £1 bid. He even says that manager Brendan Rodgers promised him of selling to any Champions League club, if the Reds themselves fail to clinch a Champions League spot. And from that ground he is right to demand the club to fulfill their vows, despite him having three years remaining on his contract.
However, Liverpool interprets the clause differently insisting that it merely allows the club to inform the player, rather oblige to sell him. This ambiguity of the clause, apocryphal no doubt, leaves the entire situation a tantalizing affair.
Probably Liverpool are right in their judgment, probably they will win the bidding war, probably they will thwart away the threat posed by Arsenal in the transfer window, probably they will gain a psychological advantage that could prove to be so crucial in terms of race for top four – but will they gain anything from Suarez by upsetting the player massively? Will they ever get back the buccaneering and flamboyant Suarez? Most importantly will they ever get back the player, who dazzles only when he puts his heart into the game? In that case, is there simply any good in having a player in the side from whom you cannot derive the commitment you wish for?
It will be interesting to see what decision Rodgers and the Liverpool management takes from here on. Will they stick with their decision and be prepared for all worse consequences? Will they let Suarez go and try to rebuild the squad though time is really running out? Is there a plan B left now?
There you see too many questions. Whether or not the club have already taken the decision is unknown – but one thing is crystal clear – Liverpool have already lost Luis Suarez – be it in shape or spirit.