Liverpool offer Suarez huge deal – and the signs are good
Reds happy to break the bank to keep striker as they offer him £200k-a-week to stay at Anfield
WITH less than two weeks to go until the transfer window opens, Liverpool are planning to head off any moves to lure Luis Suarez away from Anfield next month by thrashing out a mammoth new £200,000-a-week contract for the Uruguayan hitman.
The move is designed to keep him out of the headlines and the clutches of Europe's other big teams in the New Year and the club are apparently willing to break the bank to achieve their goal.
The talismanic striker has been in scintillating form this term and has helped the Reds mount a realistic title challenge for the first time in years. Liverpool currently lie second in the Premier League and will go top if they beat Cardiff at home on Saturday.
Negotiations are being conducted by Liverpool managing director, Ian Ayre, who has flown to Spain to meet Pere Guardiola, Suarez's agent, who was involved in a bitter dispute with the club over the terms of the player's contract in the summer.
Arsenal, who hoped to sign the player, thought they had triggered a release clause when they made an offer of £40m plus one pound for the player. However, Liverpool refused the offer and Suarez was forced to stay put, despite threats of legal action.
Despite that episode the signs are good for Liverpool. "After the trauma of last summer, when Suarez made it clear that he wanted to leave amid interest from Arsenal, he is settled again on Merseyside and Liverpool will hope to take advantage of the positive vibes around him and the club," reports the Daily Telegraph.
The very fact that negotiations have begun "reflects a significant improvement in Suarez’s relationship with his employer", says The Times. "It also highlights Liverpool's determination to hold on to a player whose response since that acrimonious period in the summer was rewarded with the captaincy in the 5-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday."
However, the spectre of Real Madrid, a club that Suarez has admitted it would be hard to say no to if they asked him to join, remains. And The Guardian warns that thrashing out a new deal "could prove a protracted process".
The Spanish club did not bid for the Uruguayan during the summer, as they were busy courting Gareth Bale, but have kept tabs on the player who has scored 17 goals in 11 league matches so far this season.
And after the confusion of the summer "both Suarez and Guardiola will seek greater clarity in any new contract as they attempt to leave the door open for a potential move to Real," claims the Times. ·