Reds are already gearing up for life without Suarez.
Liverpool are planning on making an ambitious move for coveted Real Madrid front man Alvaro Morata as soon as the transfer window finally reopens again for business at the turn of the year, with head coach Brendan Rodgers said to be concerned about his lack of striking options up front at Anfield at present.
The Merseyside giants had made a hugely encouraging start to the new season under the Northern Irishman, with the Reds earning three successive 1-0 wins to open up their Premier League campaign and sit top of the standings after three rounds of matches.
However, since the last of those victories was achieved against Premier League champions Manchester United at Anfield at the start of this month, the club have yet to win again, dropping five points in the process against Swansea City and Southampton, while they were also knocked out of the Capital One Cup following a 1-0 defeat to arch-rivals United at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.
And it is understood that Rodgers has become concerned by his team’s inability to find the back of the net so far in the second half of any match that they have played in this campaign, a run encompassing five Premier League games and two League Cup ties as well.
On the plus side for the Liverpool manager, the club did finally welcome back mercurial striker Luis Suarez into the first team at Old Trafford following the end of the Uruguay international’s ten-match ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic on the arm in a league clash at Anfield in April.
However, Suarez’s return has only cancelled out the key loss of Brazil playmaker Philippe Coutinho, after the twinkle-toed midfield creator suffered a serious shoulder injury against Swansea earlier this month that has ruled the 21-year-old out of action until next month at the earliest.
And it has been Coutinho’s injury-enforced absence from the team that has only served to reinforce to Rodgers the paucity of attacking options that he has at his disposal on Merseyside at present as he goes in search of a top-four finish in the Premier League this season, and with it a long-awaited return to the riches of Europe’s premier club competition, the Uefa Champions League, after a four-year absence.
Not only that, but Rodgers is also well aware of the fact that star man Suarez is still determined to quit the club, either in the January transfer window, or more likely at the end of this season, for a rival outfit that is challenging for both titles and the European Cup.
As a result, the Reds boss has already informed the club’s American owners, the Fenway Sports Group (FSG), of his desire to beef up his options in attack going forward, and to bring in a replacement for the soon-to-be departing Suarez as early as the new year.
And to that effect, FSG are said to be happy to support Rodgers in his pursuit of a new forward to team up with in-form England international Daniel Sturridge at Anfield in the future, just as the Americans were during the summer transfer window too.
Then, Liverpool made a number of audacious moves to sign a big-name attacker, including trying to lure the likes of Armenia international attacking midfield player Henrik Mkrtchyan, Atletico de Madrid front man Diego Costa and then Anzhi Makhachkala playmaker Willian, only to fail in all of their attempts.
But FSG have since assured Rodgers that the financial backing is still in place to land another forward-thinking player come the reopening of the January transfer window to help aid the club’s push for a place in next season’s Champions League, with the coach having in turn drawn up a short list of possible targets for the club to move for in the new year.
And top of that wish list is said to be the name of Madrid’s young striking sensation, with Morata having very nearly moved to the Premier League earlier this summer as part of the world-record transfer that saw wide man Gareth Bale join los Blancos.
However, at the time new Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti was keen to personally run the rule over his entire first-team squad before making any definitive judgements about who he wanted to keep at the Santiago Bernabeu, and who he was happy to let go, meaning Morata stayed in the Spanish capital.
And, despite the 20-year-old having been used by the Italian in La Liga at the start of the new season, he has failed to make much impression in attack, meaning that Madrid are now certain to make their own moves for a new striker when the window opens again in January.
All of which looks like playing into Liverpool’s hands, with Rodgers said to be hopeful of taking the Spain Under-21 international on an initial six-month loan deal, but with there also being an option to sign Morata on a permanent contract come the end of the campaign after the Liverpool boss did background checks on the player with his mentor at Stamford Bridge, Jose Mourinho, who coached the forward during his time in charge of Madrid.
Not only that, but with the Liga giants known to still be keen on bringing Suarez to Spain next summer, Liverpool feel they will hold all the cards when they do sit down to negotiate any deal for Morata in four months’ time.