Luis Suarez could be set for a return to the Premier League, with Aston Villa targeting a deal for the striker, who is set to become a free agent after departing Atletico Madrid upon the expiry of his contract over the summer.
That’s according to The Telegraph, who claimed that Villa manager and ex-Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard wants to reunite with his former team-mate at Villa Park next season.
It would be a sensational capture for the West Midlands outfit, who have already shown serious intent with the additions of Boubacar Kamara and Diego Carlos before the end of May.
Gerrard has already tied down one former Reds team-mate to a permanent contract in Philippe Coutinho, and the Brazilian’s former Liverpool and Barcelona colleague could be the next big name to make the move to Villa Park.
Although he wouldn’t be a long-term option at 35, signing Suarez would be a seriously impressive feat by Aston Villa.
The striker is an incredible goalscorer, having scored 436 times at club level during his stellar career, with 82 of those coming at Liverpool.
Having left Anfield for Camp Nou in 2014, the Uruguayan hasn’t played for an English club since departing Merseyside. He made 282 appearances for Barcelona, where he scored 194 goals and registered 113 assists, before joining Atletico in 2020.
Suarez enjoyed an impressive first season with Diego Simeone’s side, helping them to a first La Liga title in seven years with 21 goals in the Spanish top flight.
However, this season hasn’t been as straightforward for the striker, who had fallen out of favour and was limited to just 20 league starts. Despite a significant decrease in game-time, though, the 132-cap Uruguay international still reached double digits in goals, scoring 13 times.
With Atletico refusing to extend Suarez’s contract, Villa can land the forward on a free transfer, although wages could be tricky to negotiate given that he is on a mammoth £263k-p/w. That is more than twice the pay of every Villa player except Coutinho, who is their highest earner on £150k-p/w.
Signing a striker will be imperative this summer, though, with Ollie Watkins blowing hot and cold this term despite scoring 11 Premier League goals. Meanwhile, Danny Ings has appeared to have struggled to settle in at Villa Park, netting seven goals, a significant decrease on his figures at Southampton.
Labelled “world-class” by his former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and “probably the best player I have played with” by none other than Gerrard, in Suarez Villa would be getting a serial winner with massive experience and a sensational goal-scoring record.
It wouldn’t be a long-term solution, but it would surely leave Villa supporters ecstatic, with Gerrard already a huge admirer of the qualities that the Uruguay striker possesses.