Reds are said to be confident about persuading highly rated Selecao star to move to Anfield in the new year.
Liverpool hope to replace wantaway front man Luis Suarez with fellow South American striker Hulk when the transfer window finally reopens once again for business for the year in January.
The Merseyside giants are said to already be bracing themselves for the imminent arrival of another big-money bid for their star man, although this time from outside the Premier League.
Back in the summer transfer window, top-flight rivals Arsenal tested the Reds’ willingness to keep hold of the 26-year-old by lodging two eye-catching offers with Liverpool’s American owners, the Fenway Sports Group (FSG), for Suarez.
The first of those bids from the north London club, valued at £30 million, was rejected out of hand by FSG, while the second much-publicised offer, worth a reported £40m plus £1, was believed to be enough to trigger a release clause in Suarez’s current Liverpool contract that runs until June 30 2018.
However, it turned out that the Gunners had been given the wrong information about the exact makeup of Suarez’s Reds deal, and with that second bid also turned down by the Merseysiders, the forward was still at Anfield when the summer window slammed shut for business for the year on Sept 2.
But despite the Uruguayan having recently made a successful and long-awaited comeback into the Liverpool starting lineup after having served his ten-match ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, all eyes have once again been on the mercurial Suarez.
And the word-class attacker has not disappointed either, making a goalscoring return for his club on his first appearance in the Premier League against Sunderland on Sunday afternoon since that infamous biting incident towards the backend of the previous campaign.
Suarez managed to net a brace against the struggling Black Cats at the Stadium of Light to confirm that he has not lost any of his previous goalscoring instincts, and that double on Wearside has only served to reinforce to Madrid their urgent need to bring the coveted marksman to the Santiago Bernabeu in the new year.
Recently appointed Los Blancos manager Carlo Ancelotti is currently relying on just the one out-and-out central striker in the Spanish capital, Karim Benzema, but the France international is struggling badly for form in front of goal at present.
All of which means that Ancelotti has now asked Real president Florentino Perez to sign him Suarez in the new year, with one of the major attractions to Madrid landing the player in January being that he will not be cup tied in the Uefa Champions League, as the Reds have not qualified for any European competitions this season.
And, contrary to common opinion, Liverpool coach Brendan Rodgers is understood to be more than willing to allow his controversial front man to quit Anfield and move to the Liga giants, but only on two conditions that is.
Firstly, that his bosses across the Pond receive a minimum transfer fee of £55m for Suarez from Madrid, the same amount that big-spending Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain were forced to splash out on fellow Uruguay international Edinson Cavani from Serie A outfit Napoli in July.
And secondly, that the Northern Irishman can then use all of the proceeds from Suarez’s big-money move to Spain in order to sign Zenit St Petersburg striker Hulk as his direct replacement in attack at Anfield going forward.
But to that effect, though, Rodgers wants FSG to take a leaf out of Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur, and their supremo Daniel Levy’s book, by not only driving a hard bargain for Suarez when it comes to negotiating with Madrid president Perez, but also in already having a deal in place to land Hulk before agreeing to allow the Uruguay forward to depart the Reds.
Liverpool, like a number of their Premier League rivals, including the likes of both Tottenham and Chelsea of late, have been keeping close tabs on Zenit’s powerful Brazil international.
The 27-year-old had appeared to be on the verge of moving to White Hart Lane and Stamford Bridge in reported £45m deals over the course of the past few years, with Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas known to be a huge admirer of Hulk’s from his time coaching the attacker at FC Porto.
And despite Hulk being contracted to the Russian giants until June 30 2017, it is an open secret in European football that the Brazil forward is desperate to bring an end to his two-year stay in St Petersburg as soon as possible and move to a big-name club on the Continent.
Meanwhile, the Merseysiders’ current lack of Champions League football is also not believed to be any hindrance to Rodgers being able to successfully tie up a deal for Hulk in January, so long as the Reds are able to meet Zenit’s £45m asking price for the forward, and he and Liverpool can successfully agree personal terms as well that is.