That’s right, the Catalan Messiah – aka Pep Guardiola – will raise heaven and hell (mostly heaven) in the summer to bring in Suarez, who’s going to answer that call with a ‘dream’ move to Bayern Munich.
Should Liverpool’s season continue as it is currently panning out then it would be easy to see any player raising questions about whether he’d be right to go or not. In Suarez’s case however, there are a number of reasons that may make this potential move all the more difficult.
To begin with, Suarez isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. In large part thanks to a little incident last season that needs no further explanation. On the flip side of this he discovered that both the club and (undoubtedly, more so) the fans were – and still are – 100% behind him.
This unwavering support has seemingly doubled this season, thanks to Suarez’s immense run of form since the season began. In reply to the backing from his fans Suarez seems to keep on playing better and better. Like all good relationships, it is one of mutual respect, love and team-work.
As I mentioned, Suarez was also roundly backed by the club and the then manager, Kenny Dalglish, whether rightly or wrongly he got the clubs’ full backing and a lot of the criticism ended up being aimed at Liverpool rather than Suarez, which must’ve made his life slightly easier.
This season the Uruguayan genius has been running with both the light and dark sides, mixing some of the most spectacular individual displays we’ve ever seen in a Red shirt, with some ill-judged on-field antics that mean he’ll most likely not be voted Player of the Year.
Again, the fan and club support has been unequivocal.
The point I’m making here is that, great season or no, Suarez still owes us. Both the fans and the club. Without his goals, assists and all round mind-blowing displays this year, we may be looking at a bottom 10 finish, but most clubs would’ve just thrown the striker to the wolves last season and his career may well have hit some really rocky ground.
The support he received from within though has seen him through and he’s come out the other side stronger. Not only this, but Suarez (like many a manager and player before him) seems to be genuinely touched and, in many ways, taken aback by the support of the fans and has been seen to reciprocate this on many occasions.
These will mean little to Pep nor Bayern however, for them the important thing will be the price and this is where the primary stumbling block could arise.
More likely though is that that’s all codswallop and, in reality, Guardiola will be given a fairly sizeable amount to spend but nowhere near this amount.
Also, in reality, Liverpool (having spent £22.4 million on Suarez) are likely to want to double their money, at the very least.
With a potentially ‘Player of the Year’ winning season behind him as well, you could expect another £5 or more million added to that too, so you’re basically looking at around £50 million. There aren’t many clubs capable of paying that much money anymore, nevermind many clubs that are prepared to pay that much.
Given that Bayern will have a new manager looking to overhaul his entire squad and mould it in his image, it’s unlikely that he’ll be willing to run foul of the financial fair play rules by splurging most of his ‘war chest’ on just one player, even if that one player does sometimes appear to be playing like he’s actually 11 players.
With all of this in mind, it’ll be a tough move for Bayern to pull off. A lot of that will come down to the willingness of the clubs’ owners to do business, however.
Many people look at FSG as being ‘stable but not rich’ owners and may believe that they would be willing to let Suarez go to bring in a good profit, much in-keeping with how they supposedly run the Red Sox.
I take offense to that slightly though because since the £50 million we recouped for Torres a couple of years back, we’ve made very little back in transfer fees, whilst having a net spend of over £70 million.
Many people see the owners’ lack of willingness to spend over the odds during the summer as a sign that we were ‘skint’. In my mind, it was a sign that they wouldn’t be burned twice, so I wouldn’t worry that Suarez will be sold for purely financial reasons as the money we’ve spent in the past two windows shows we’re doing OK in that regard.
Also, as a Liverpool player – and a great one at that – Suarez’s stock has risen massively in the past 2 years, and he can now be considered one of the best in Europe. In football, every club needs a superstar or two, if for nothing else – to sell merchandise!
So for the owners, the summer may well become a bit of a balancing act, where Luis is concerned. If we sell him, the fans may well turn against us, but the club sometimes suffers from supporting such a controversial player.
On the other hand, he could well bring in over £50 million which could further strengthen the squad, but his value to the club in terms of merchandise could be worth more in the long-term.
Then there is the most important dilemma, which you can only hope would be first on the agenda should any discussion about selling the striker arise during the summer: how do you replace a player like Suarez? That one’s pretty simple.
It will be a serious test of FSG should Bayern (or any other club) table an impressive offer during the summer of 2013, of whether they still wish to stick to their ‘by young/cheap, sell on at a high price’ proviso. But perhaps even more so, it’ll be stern test of whether or not they understand what it takes to create a Liverpool ‘legend’ and how hard it will be to get the fans back on-side should they choose to cash in.