Luis Suarez rounded on the British press in an interview last night, but I don’t think he can blame them for the way they report his career.
His name gets dragged up every time there’s talk about something like simulation, of course, but that’s because he has a record. He can’t hide away from that, because he’s created that monster himself.
When the press talk about him it’s all football-related, and it’s all there in full view of everybody.
I thought the comments were a little bit strange, because I’m not convinced he’s a newspaper reader, or for that matter too worried about what other people think.
While I don’t know Suarez personally, I get the impression he’s a very private person, who likes to keep himself to himself.
But he and Carlos Tevez are both examples of players who leave these little hints about their future in the south American press knowing full well what the effect will be.
Has he really said anything more in this interview than that he would find it hard to turn down Real Madrid?
I think Suarez will be a Liverpool player next season. I get the impression from my contacts around the club that he’s happy enough at Anfield.
Of course, there are a couple of major clubs that could tempt him away, and Real Madrid is one of those. But that’s true of just about every player in the game.
Do Real really want Suarez? They have two strikers in Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema already – that may change, but to me it doesn’t look as if a striker is their priority right now.
And Liverpool would prefer Suarez to stay. It’s all very well picking up £35-£40m for him, but then you have to replace him. They already have him, the key player, the scorer of 23 Premier League goals this season – it wouldn’t make any sense to sell him.
The signings Liverpool have made this season don’t point to his exit. If the Iago Aspas deal is confirmed, I don’t see him as a replacement for Suarez, but rather someone who adds to the squad.
At the moment, Suarez and Liverpool are a good fit. He likes being the star of the team, and Liverpool need a star.
Now that could change over the coming campaign if Liverpool don’t finish up in the top four next season. I think that will be the time that Suarez moves on.
And if, by the time winter comes, Liverpool look as if they will not be competing for a Champions League spot again, then I could imagine Suarez starting to feel unhappy at the club.
Whether the ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic is right or wrong, it is a real blow for him as a footballer that he won’t be playing until late September, and he can’t help influence how Liverpool are getting on.
That said, Liverpool finished the season strongly, and look as if they are going in the right direction.
There are always things that can trigger a transfer – whether that’s a massive bid, or a player coming out and saying directly that he wants to leave.
At the moment, neither of those things have happened, and I think we can expect another season of having Suarez in the Premier League.
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