Speculation surrounding Luis Suarez’s departure from Anfield has failed to subside, as Liverpool could be key participants in a blockbuster final week of the summer transfer window. While the club has been adamant about holding onto the Uruguayan forward, a lucrative offer from Spanish giants Real Madrid might be too tempting for Brendan Rodgers and owner John W. Henry to resist.
Following the departure of Jose Mourinho this summer, Real Madrid have made major changes that include moving Gonzalo Higuain, Raul Albiol, Jose Callejon and Ricardo Carvalho and adding Asier Illarramendi and Isco. The impending arrival of Gareth Bale for a whopping £86 million sum has fueled speculation that Madrid may consider selling Mesut Ozil, Angel Di Maria, Fabio Coentrao, and Karim Benzema.
Should Madrid move at least two of those players, they would likely have the resources to offer Liverpool more than the £40 million and £1 that Arsenal bid several weeks ago. Suarez’s potential move to the Bernabeu appears to be most tied to Arsenal’s ability to add Benzema. Karim Djaziri, Benzema’s agent, firmly stated to a French newspaper that Benzema will not go to Arsenal, but the Gunners could make a harder push for the French forward between now and the Sept. 2 deadline. Such a move would increase the chances that Real Madrid would want to replace him with Suarez.
The possibility of these major deals going down still appears to be rather far-fetched. Arsenal have never paid more than £15 million for one player, let alone the close to £40 million that Benzema is likely to cost. Real Madrid appear to be struggling to meet Tottenham’s demands over Bale, so moving two or three high-priced players in six days to fund a last-ditch offer for Suarez seems like a reach.
Time is even running out for less lucrative deals to go through before the deadline. According to the Daily Mirror, Barcelona are interested in a £10 million deal for defender Daniel Agger. Barcelona’s interest in the 28-year-old has been well established for several weeks after they missed out on Paris Saint-Germain’s Thiago Silva. But a move appeared to be off last week when Agger was quoted as stating that he wouldn’t leave Anfield.
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"Barcelona are obviously a big club, but I have never thought about leaving Liverpool, unless they want to sell," Agger said to Spanish newspaper Sport. "Everyone at the club is an integral part of my life -- I even have a YNWA [You'll Never Walk Alone] tattoo! Frankly I don't mind if we don't finish in the top four, I love the club."
However, Agger’s agent subsequently told a Danish website that those quotes were fabricated. Agger has previously admitted that it would be difficult for him to reject a move to Barcelona.
Rodgers has stated that the club will add a center back before the deadline, and Toby Alderweireld of Ajax could still be a target. The Daily Mirror reported that the 24-year-old, in the final year of his contract, would be available at a bargain price of £6 million. However, Ajax have rejected a bid from Atletico Madrid for the Belgium international, claiming that it was “not considered sufficient,” according to Sky Sports.
Rodgers is also known to want to add to his attacking options. Victor Moses could join Liverpool on a season-long loan, according to the Daily Mail. Chelsea reportedly want £2 million for the winger. With the addition of Willian from Anzhi Makhachkala, there is likely to be even fewer opportunities for Moses to receive consistent playing time with the Blues.
One deal that has already been confirmed is the loan of Liverpool winger Oussama Assaidi to Stoke City. Assaidi, 25, only made 12 appearances since joining the club from Heerenveen last summer.
"He's an exciting player who has great pace and is very direct, and he will certainly add another dimension to what we already have at the club,” Stoke boss Mark Hughes said.