Ex-Reds winger wants Merseysiders to act fast, or risk missing out on potential targets in the summer window.
Liverpool should bite the bullet and sell wantaway front man Luis Suarez now so as to be able to have enough time left this summer to find a suitable word-class replacement for their star man, says former Reds great John Barnes.
The Merseyside giants have already rejected two bids from Premier League rivals Arsenal for the Uruguay international, the second of which worth £40 million plus £1 was enough to trigger a release clause in Suarez’s contract at Anfield.
And with Spanish giants Real Madrid also expected to soon enter the race for the 26-year-old, Liverpool know that Suarez has in all likelihood now played his final game for the club.
However, one-time England international Barnes has urged the Reds’ American owners, the Fenway Sports Group, to wrap up negotiations for the player’s Anfield exit as soon as possible, otherwise they will be left with next to no time to be able to bring in a top-level forward to replace the controversial Uruguay attacker.
“We’ve seen in the past when transfers go down to the last minute that it doesn’t help anybody, especially for a club like Liverpool who, if they lose Suarez, would have to find a big name replacement,” Barnes exclusively told talkSPORT.co.uk.
“I’d like it to be done sooner rather than later because if it goes down to the last day, and you then have to go and get somebody, it’s not ideal.
“As far as Suarez is concerned, if he’s not going to be happy, then he has to go.
“We can all say, ‘Yes, we think Suarez is going to be a player like Carlos Tevez, who gives 100 per cent no matter what’, but we don’t know what his mental state is going to be if he doesn’t get his wish (to leave Liverpool).”
Suarez has been at Liverpool for the past two-and-a-half seasons now, having originally arrived at Anfield from Eredivisie giants Ajax in January 2011 for a fee of £22.8m, and in the meantime time the mercurial centre forward has registered an impressive 51 goals and 24 assists in just 96 matches overall in all competitions for the Reds.