Uruguayan international on his way to Anfield?
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Ajax play hardball with Liverpool by demanding £21m for Suarez
Liverpool and Ajax are still £8m apart in their valuations of striker Luis Suarez
Liverpool are involved in a tough negotiating battle with Ajax over Luis Suarez with the clubs understood to be more than £8m apart on price for the Uruguay international.
The obvious need for substantial reinforcements to a squad that looks short of Kenny Dalglish’s requirements has left a club which anticipated a relatively low-budget January now hoping for two or three signings. Aston Villa left-back Stephen Warnock seems the most probable acquisition, with Dalglish concerned by Paul Konchesky’s alienation from Liverpool’s fans as well as his struggle for form. But Villa’s Ashley Young and Wigan Athletic’s Charles N’Zogbia are also players of interest, reflecting the absence of creativity in a side which is yet to win under Dalglish. However, Villa have insisted that Young is not for sale.
Suarez satisfies the need for a forceful second striker as well as delivery from the wings. Contrary to internet reports yesterday, Liverpool’s principal owner John W Henry did not meet the player’s agent, Pere Guardiola, at London’s San Carlo restaurant on Tuesday night. Henry was in Liverpool for the evening. There has still been no official bid for Suarez but he would also bring more aggression to the side.
Though Suarez is understood to be keen to leave Amsterdam and attracted by the contingent of Spanish speakers who would help his acclimatisation on Merseyside, Ajax have proved inflexible on price so far. Liverpool are offering ¤15m (£12.5m), Ajax want ¤25m (£20.9m) minimum. Ryan Babel, who will move to Hoffenheim in a £5.8m deal unless a club more attractive to the 24-year-old comes in with a bid for him, was initially offered to the Amsterdam club from whom he was signed as part of the deal, but they were not interested.
Ajax want only to maximise their financial return. They need the money but they believe they can win the Eredivisie – they are currently fourth, six points off PSV Eindhoven with a game in hand – which is why they appear to be ready to play hardball. (Independent)
It does seem that the two sides are no feverishly trying to complete the deal to take Uruguayan goal machine Luis Suarez to Anfield. The fact that Ajax has put a price on the 23 year old’s head says it all. Whilst the original valuation may have been a little inflated a fee of £21, or thereabouts, seems very reasonable given the potential the striker has displayed in the admittedly average Dutch Eredivisie.
Ryan Babel may yet be part of the deal but by all accounts Ajax boss Frank De Boer doesn’t really know if he needs the winger which is why Liverpool have wisely lined up a move to Hoffenheim should the Amsterdam club pass on the 24 year old Dutch international.
Luis Suarez’s ability should not be doubted. Whilst it is clear that scoring goals for fun in Holland is by no means rare the former Groningen man has netted a phenomenal 110 goals in three and a half seasons is a cut above. His record in European action is also pretty tidy, with 16 goals from 30 starts in Champions League and Europa League action.
His attributes in theory should lend themselves well to pairing up with Fernando Torres and whilst Roy Hodgson was initally wary of playing two up front it seems that Kenny Dalglish is all for opting for such a formation, especially if that combination includes arguably two of the best strikers plying their trade in Europe.
There could be a fair bit of back and forth on this deal and whilst both clubs are looking to make sure the best deal is struck it does seem that now that negotiations are taking place it may be only a matter of time before a deal is finalised.
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