One thing we’ve learned about Luis Suarez that we didn’t know about him before is that he doesn’t hold a grudge. Despite Liverpool not selling him to a club playing in the Champions League like he wished for, he has been the perfect professional and leader, hands down the best player in the Premier League since the start of the season. The next chapter in the saga? The club trying to extend his contract.
Liverpool are offering Suarez a deal that will make him the highest paid player in the club’s history. Something along the lines of £200,000 a week, or possibly slightly less. He’s currently signed until 2016, but Liverpool will try and make it 2018 or 2019, and without any argument about the release clause.
The problem with dealings like this isn’t the player – it’s the agent, and in this case it is Pere Guardiola, who tried everything he could during the summer to get Suarez out of Anfield. He didn’t succeed, and it’ll be interesting to see if any bad blood between the sides remains. Probably less than you’d expect, but these negotiations are going to take some time, and Liverpool’s league form is going to be the thing that dictates Suarez’ thought process.
The guidelines suggest he isn’t after money, and big deals from Real Madrid or Arsenal aren’t what trigger his desire to leave. It’s only about being on a club that can compete for trophies and play in the Champions League. Right now, Liverpool, in second place, mostly because of Suarez scoring at a better rate than any other striker in Europe, are fulfilling his requirements, so why not stay?
Because one good year doesn’t equal consistency, and we’re only 16 matches into it – still before the matches against Manchester City and Chelsea on the road; still before the Christmas schedule, which sometimes causes great changes in the table, quicker than the blink of an eye. Liverpool coming out in 2014 on the wrong end of the title challenge and even the Champions League rankings might be a cause for concern, and for Suarez, who looks like the most committed player on earth to his club, to start looking sideways at other temptations.