Writer: Gavin Kelley-Day
Date:Tuesday June 24 2014
Despite a record-breaking campaign, Luis Suarez could still be set to depart Anfield this summer if new speculation is to believed...
Liverpool's impressive 2013-14 campaign had appeared to help end the continuous uncertainty surrounding the future of star striker Luis Suarez but media reports surfacing in the past 24 hours are again raising doubts over whether or not he will begin next season at Anfield.
Twelve months ago the Uruguayan spent the entire close season angling for a move away but ultimately stayed and in turn played a pivotal role in inspiring the Reds to an unexpected runners-up spot in the Premier League.
31 goals in just 33 league appearances led to Suarez clearing up in the end of season awards, winning accolades from fellow players, fans and the media.
With a new 200k-a-week contract penned and Champions League football back on the agenda for the upcoming 2014-15 season, everything seemed to be rosy as the 27-year-old departed these shores for the World Cup last month.
Despite not being fully fit following knee surgery, Suarez showed once again what he's capable of last Thursday night by scoring twice and subsequently eliminating England, and a number of his club mates, from the competition.
Suarez's heroics over in Brazil were followed by renewed criticism of the English media who he accused of showing him a lack of respect, suggesting the victory was made even sweeter because "too many people in England laughed about my attitude".
The odds of him moving abroad have tumbled further today after the player's father-in-law, Gustavo Balbi, was widely quoted as saying: "He has nothing else to prove (in England).
"It is the right moment for a change. He would not go to another English team out of respect for Liverpool. If he leaves the Premier League, his best option would be to play in Spain."
The comments are perfectly timed for the press, coming as they do amidst renewed speculation that Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona are preparing bids to take the forward to La Liga.
Talk of a release clause (worth between £65m and £80m depending on who you believe) has been filling the British tabloids with some publications also implying Liverpool could be interested in a player-plus-cash deal involving either Madrid's Karim Benzema or Barca's Alexis Sanchez.
Sources close to the club, as cited by the Liverpool ECHO and ESPN to name but two, remain confident that Suarez will not be leaving even though they do privately acknowledge that bids are inevitable.
Furthermore, at the time of writing, neither Suarez nor his representatives have given the Merseysiders any indication that he wants to quit.
Speaking at the climax of the season the former Ajax man pointed to his contract renewel as a sign of a continued commitment to the Liverpool cause.
"I signed the contract because I love it here and I'm so happy here. If you're not happy here you don't sign any contract," stated Suarez to Sky Sports News in May.
The controversial front man is in action again this evening when Uruguay meet Italy for a place in the World Cup knockout stages.
No Liverpool fan will want a repeat of last summer's transfer saga but the speculation and interest was always going to be inevitable. When you are as good as Suarez is, there are always going to be clubs looking on enviously and those with the necessary finances will do their utmost to entice you away. So far there is no real evidence to suggest Suarez won't be kicking off the new season in Liverpool colours but with such stories guaranteed to sell papers and fill column inches, the situation is probably set to run and run.
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Date:Tuesday June 24 2014
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