LiverpoolAt the moment, Liverpool FC appear helpless in retaining their most prized asset at the club. Their plight can be seen in the very fact that Brendan Rodgers, while addressing the press conference in Australia, had to bring the matter of loyalty for Suarez to consider,while deciding upon his future.

Liverpool had firmly supported the striker when found guilty over the racism remarks on Patrick Evra, as well as the time when Suarez bit Chelsea’s Ivanovic on the pitch, during the end of the previous season! By the nature of the clause inserted in the contract of Suarez, Liverpool would be liable to listen to the offers that exceed theAi??Ai??ai??i??40m mark. According to the club, this however, does not mean that they can be forced to sell on cheap or without meeting their own valuation of the player!

A bid that triggers the clause, which Arsenal made with a cheekyAi??Ai??ai??i??40 m+ 1 offer, creates an interesting situation. A look at what options do the club and the player hold at the moment –

Liverpool’s Valuation and Options

Liverpool’s valuation of Suarez revolves around the transfer price of Edison Cavani to PSG ofAi??Ai??ai??i??55m. Usually, player valuations are relative to demand and supply. Therefore, to make a realistic valuation of a player, one needs to compare the sale (inflation adjusted) of the last player that was bought/sold , within the the same bracket of talent.

At 26 years, Suarez and Cavani have comparable statistics to make for an even valuation. Cavani scored 29 goals with 4 assists for Napoli in the League, while Suarez scored 23 goals and 5 assists for Liverpool form 33 appearances. While Cavani is strong with finishing, hold-up play and his overall contribution to the defense (while tracking back); Suarez has a lot more to offer in his cavalry with his dribbling skills, hold-up play, off the ball movement and a higher chance creation rate – along with the set-piece antics.

The Premier League being more competitive than the Serie A, makes Suarez’s contribution at par with that of Cavani, if not more and therefore Liverpool are reasonable to demand an amount ofAi??Ai??ai??i??50m for their primary striker.

However, even if they are able to sell the player at the right valuation, there are no like for like replacements for Suarez, that can be brought in. Selling Suarez, would also undo the work that had gone in the previous year while building the team. Liverpool’s current style deeply revolves around Suarez – his hold-up play, and the ability to beat defenders one-on-one, allows the midfield to operate from the deep and catch up with the striker on the break. Letting him go, would mean re-structuring the midfield as well as the front line.

Ideally, Liverpool would not want to sell to Arsenal; their direct competitors for the 4th position next season. However, they have little in their hands as the clause dictates them to not block the sale at the right price. Real Madrid would be a preferred buyer, even if that comes at a marginally lesser price, since it also makes Arsenal less competitive, compared to the scenario when they have Suarez in their ranks, while both the clubs compete for Champions League next season.

Suarez Options

Suarez is in a tough spot after going public with his desire to go to Real Madrid on the behest of the negative take on him by the British media. For one, he cannot put pressure over the proceedings since he has no moral/personal ground to force a move to Arsenal, other than the lure of the Champions League. The only way he can influence the negotiations with Liverpool is with a cold-blooded transfer request, which might deprive him of personal incentives that may range between a couple of million pounds.

Madrid could be a savior for Suarez, saving him from the wrath of millions of fans across the globe, if they choose to enter a bidding war. However, since Suarez has already indicated his desire (as per BBC) to talk with Arsenal, it speaks about the fact that Real Madrid may actually not be coming to his rescue. At least, Suarez and Real do not seem to be on equal footing.

Suarez can choose to move to Arsenal making a transfer request or negotiate a clause on a lower transfer fee, if Liverpool does not make the cutAi??for the Champions League.

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