I know that positions have become entrenched and a lot has been said by both sides but I don’t think it’s too late for Luis Suarez to return to the fold at Liverpool.
Put it this way: I can’t see a player like Luis taking the pitch in front of 40,000 Liverpool fans and not giving his all.
That’s the type of man is. He has a relentless determination to be the best he can be and to perform for the crowd.
I understand the points that people are making about the loyalty the club has shown him in the past, and they are right to make those points.
I have no wish to revisit past controversies, but we showed loyalty to him because we believed he had a case. We did not attempt to defend the indefensible out of some blind loyalty to Luis.
We did what we thought was right at the time.
The Liverpool owner, and I hope that remains the case.
But it is also worth pointing out that transfers are part of the fabric of football.
Players come and players go – I would never have arrived at Liverpool if it were not for the transfer system – the club is the important thing. It is the club, and the supporters, that remain.
I have read all the stuff about clauses in his contract and a bid over £40m triggering negotiations in good faith.
I have no idea at all of the truth of that, but there is one point I’d make: If that form of words is there, does bidding £1 over the price constitute ‘good faith’?
Again, I hope Luis stays.
But if he is sold, I don’t think there is any way in this world that he will be sold to Arsenal.
Liverpool can’t afford to do that.
One of the club’s main ambitions this season is to qualify for the Champions League, and selling Luis to would weaken Liverpool and strengthen one of our closest rivals.
I just can’t see it being allowed to happen.
As the owner suggested, he will do everything in his power to stop him being sold there.
Look at what happened to Arsenal last season when they did something similar with Robin van Persie – they sold him to Manchester United and United won the title with his goals. They ran away with the league.
If Arsenal had had even half his goals, think how different their season could have been.
The danger for Liverpool is that clubs who want to sign Luis will leave it as late as possible, so he can serve part of his remaining six-match ban while he is still at Anfield.
There is a worry that a suitor might try to take the transfer down to the wire – deadline day – and sign Luis then.
That’s another reason why what the owner said on Thursday made sense.
It has already got to the point where Liverpool will find it very hard to replace Luis for this season, even if he were to be sold tomorrow.
Although it is well-nigh impossible to replace a player like Luis man-for-man anyway – you would have to get two or three players in to make up for his loss.
I think there’s still room for optimism about the situation as far as Liverpool are concerned – as I said earlier, I cannot see Luis pulling on a Liverpool shirt and not giving everything in his body for the club.
I’d like to see the club and the player call it quits and try to thrash something out for everyone’s benefit.
I don’t think it’s too late, but time will tell.
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