Liverpool’s proposed move for Ajax’s Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez has apparently hit the buffers over the nature of the potential fee. It seems the Merseyside club’s under-evaluation of the player in question, and the recent inflation of the market with the likes of Edin Dzeko and Darren Bent going for large fees already this transfer window, has seen Ajax drag their heels in an attempt to hold out for more money.
In all honesty, you can hardly blame Ajax for their stance considering Suarez’s importance to them and the relative pittance that Liverpool have offered the club for his services – reportedly £12.7m. By relative pittance, I am of course talking about contrasting the current fee with that of the two big name moves to English clubs this transfer window – Edin Dzeko and Darren Bent.
Dzeko arrived at Man City for a fee in the region of £27m from German side Wolfsburg. While this may be a tad over the top, it’s fair to say that City know they are getting a player capable of delivering and Dzeko does admittedly have a fantastic record over the last couple of seasons. Plus, you have to factor in the effect that City’s millions have on any player they are chasing. The club are yet to pay a fair price for any of their most recent acquisitions, and this is not entirely their own fault, it’s just that when they’re dealing with clubs now, a player’s fee can almost double if they know City are interested because they simply know they’re good for it.
Darren Bent’s surprise move to Aston Villa has cost the Midlands outfit £18m up front, rising to £24m in total. Villa were in dire need of a player of Bent’s talents and any potential deal is surely relative to how much any given club needs the player, and in that respect, Villa have probably achieved a fair deal for Bent. Compare it to the rest of the market though, and the added premium of being English, and it’s fair to say that in basic terms, this deal is hugely over-inflated.
Ajax released a statement yesterday saying: “We have to wait for them to come back with something more respectful. We want to keep him – at least until the end of the season and preferably for the rest of his contract. If you compare the $15m (can’t find euro’s button) (£13m) Liverpool want to pay for Suarez with other transfers you can imagine that it’s far too low for us.” A statement in obvious reference to the Dzeko deal, and more obviously, Darren Bent move.
Ryan Babel looks all but set to move to Bundesliga side Hoffenheim for a fee rumoured to be in the region of £5.7m in the next few days – so stepping up their pursuit of Suarez is now of paramount importance.
If the £12.7m offered is just an opening bid, then fine, but if that’s all the club are willing to offer, they surely couldn’t have ever hoped to prise away such an asset for so little. Ajax are thought to be holding out for £25m – again, another unrealistic estimate – and Liverpool are thought to have a limit of £18m for any such proposed deal, which seems around a fair price for him.
The longer Liverpool haggle and wait, the worse it will get. Ajax’s position becomes stronger the longer this drags out and the nearer to the end of the transfer window it gets. They have no real need to sell the player just yet and he’ll command a bigger fee in the summer, with more interested parties likely to be ready to deal then.
Liverpool, however, are in dire need of striking reinforcements. The longer they pursue the Suarez transfer, without any realistic estimations at least, the less time they leave themselves to pursue other targets fully. The last thing Liverpool want is a forced move on transfer deadline day whereby they get a poor deal for an otherwise decent player simply because they missed out on Suarez.
We hear managers bleat on all the time about ‘disgraceful’ or ‘insulting’ bids, and most of the time they’re just living in cloud cuckoo land; over inflating their player’s true value to ward off potential suitors, but it seems with this latest Suarez bid, Liverpool are being somewhat disrespectful, especially considering it’s relativity to previous purchases this transfer window.
The truth of the matter is that there are few strikers of Suarez’s calibre in the world available at the moment and even fewer willing to move to a struggling club such as Liverpool. The sooner the Liverpool board realise this and stop haggling for the sake of it, the sooner a deal for Suarez can be completed.
They were never likely to get him for the aforementioned price, which by anyone’s estimations, does seem awfully low. But with the likes of Bent and Dzeko going for huge fees already this window, Liverpool need to focus on what they want and deliver, rather than penny-pinching their way to their second or third choices.
What does everyone else think Suarez is truly worth? Have the Dzeko and Bent deals inflated the market or simply put the poor value of Liverpool’s bid into perspective?