It is something that few Liverpool fans will even want to consider: what happens if Luis Suarez leaves Anfield this summer? Manager Brendan Rodgers continues to profess his hope that the supremely talented Uruguayan will eventually see out the summer transfer window still a Red, but at the same time Suarez has repeatedly stated his desire for a transfer.
If an offer of over £40 million arrives, especially from Real Madrid, it may be difficult for Liverpool to say no. Doubtless realizing this, there is likely to already be work underway to identify the best possible replacement for a player who scored 23 Premier League goals last season.
Here are four names that may be on that list.
Burak Yilmaz (Galatasaray)
Burak took time to start fulfilling his potential, but he proved last season that he was able to transfer his prolific record with Trabzonspor to a bigger stage with giants Galatasaray. Having scored 24 goals in 30 league appearances and, perhaps more notably, eight goals in as many Champions league outings, the 27-year-old caught the attention of some of the continent’s biggest clubs. But with most of the world’s top strikers on the market this summer, Burak appears to have fallen down the pecking order, which could be to the benefit of Liverpool, who cannot offer Champions League participation. Sky Sports believes that Liverpool are closely monitoring his situation, while Galatasaray have said that he can leave if the price is right.
Christian Benteke (Aston Villa)
The bustling Belgian sparked a race for his signature earlier this week when he handed in an official transfer request. While they won’t stand in his way of a move, Aston Villa have said that Benteke will only leave on their terms, which could mean a bid approaching £25 million. That represents a high price for a player with just one year experience in a top league, although, in netting 19 Premier League goals, it was some year. Both Tottenham and Chelsea are thought to have expressed an interest, with the player said to prefer a move to White Hart Lane where he would likely get more regular action ahead of next year’s World Cup. But with Tottenham traditionally frugal operators in the transfer market, Liverpool could yet have an opportunity to steal in by investing a significant portion of the possible fee for Suarez.
Loic Remy (Queens Park Rangers)
Significantly cheaper but also far less inspirational would be a move for France international Remy. Despite QPR’s relegation last season, Remy impressed in his limited appearances since joining Marseille in January and scored six goals in 14 appearances. It is unlikely that QPR will be unduly disappointed to remove the 26-year-old’s hefty wages off their books, with the player having a release clause activated following relegation, which some reports claim is as little as £5 million. Liverpool have been linked in the past and could be tempted to reignite that interest should Suarez depart.
Jackson Martinez (Porto)
Liverpool were thought to have had a major interest in the Colombia international 12 months ago, before he eventually left Mexican side Jaguares de Chaipas for Porto. Despite the step up, Martinez continued to fire in the goals, finding the net 29 times for the Portuguese giants last season. While he doesn’t do an awful lot outside of the penalty area, the 26-year-old is lethal inside it and would help replace the goals lost if Suarez were to leave. He is likely to be extremely difficult to acquire, however, with Porto notoriously proficient at only selling players for inflated fees.