Reds prepared to sell Suarez to target Brazil star Hulk.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers wants to offload controversial front man Luis Suarez when the winter transfer window opens again for business at the turn of the year, CaughtOffside understands.
The Northern Irishman is said to already be preparing for the inevitable focus on his star man that is sure to start all over again in the January transfer window, despite the impressive start to the new campaign made by the Merseyside giants.
The Reds are currently sitting in third place in the top flight, albeit level on points with second-placed Chelsea, and just two points off leaders Arsenal after the opening eight matches of the season.
Meanwhile, Suarez himself also recently made his own successful return to the Liverpool starting lineup after the completion of his ten-match ban handed to the forward by the Football Association after he was found guilty of biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in a Premier League match at Anfield in April.
However, although the 26-year-old has seemingly been accepted back into the fold at Anfield by both his manager and the rest of his team-mates too, it is believed that Rodgers and the club’s America owners are keen to sell their star man to the highest bidder at the turn of the year.
From Rodgers’ standpoint, he views the baggage and controversy that inevitably comes with Suarez as being detrimental to his team’s chances of being successful on the field, especially now that the Irishman has seemingly got the Merseysiders back on track and in their rightful place competing once more near the top of the league after spending the past few years in mid-table obscurity.
And from the viewpoint of Liverpool owner John W Henry and chairman Tom Werner, the American duo would far rather cash in now on their prized asset than run the risk of a another major controversy arising and subsequently damaging the club’s brand, as well as the player’s own value in the transfer market.
As a result, the Reds are understood to have already been busy planning their transfer strategy for the turn of the year, with intermediaries from the club having recently made contact with officials from La Liga giants Real Madrid in order to ascertain whether the Spaniards are still keen on buying Suarez in January.
And the word coming back from the Santiago Bernabeu is that los Blancos are desperate to bring the Uruguay international to the Spanish capital as a like-for-like replacement for out-of-sorts front-man Karim Benzema, with the Frenchman having so far struggled badly for both confidence and form in front of goal under new Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti so far in this campaign.
As Arsenal reportedly close in on the signing of Benzema, Real could be happy to allow the former Lyon man to leave, with Real president Florentino Perez then planning to use the proceeds from his departure to north London in order to lure Suarez to the Bernabeu.
And one of the major attractions for Perez and Ancelotti to landing the Uruguay attacker at the turn of the year is that, unlike with most deals that take place in the January transfer window, Suarez will not be cup tied for any European competitions, with Liverpool having only finished the previous Premier League season in seventh place.
All of which means that Suarez would be able to feature for Ancelotti in Madrid’s Champions League campaign that will recommence again with the knockout round fixtures in February, with Perez desperate to end his so far unsuccessful second spell back in charge of los Blancos by bringing home the coveted La Decima to the Bernabeu in May.
And to aid Madrid’s push for a record-breaking tenth European Cup crown, Perez is said to be happy to splash the cash in January that will see Suarez move to Spain and link up in attack with both Cristiano Ronaldo and recent new signing Gareth Bale in what would be a potent looking front three.
Suarez only put pen to paper on a new bumper long-term deal with the Reds last August that ties the forward to Anfield until June 2016, and so the Merseysiders will be seeking in excess of £50m for the Uruguayan marksman, with the club then hoping to reinvest most of that sum in buying highly-rated Zenit St Petersburg forward Hulk at the end of this campaign.