Liverpool's Suarez waves to the crowd as he walks around the pitch following their English Premier League soccer match against Queens Park Rangers at Anfield in Liverpool

Luis Suarez still wants out of Liverpool, but will they let him leave?

Leave a comment

No more time to hide away from the inevitable, Luis Suarez’ agent has held talks with Liverpool and the message is clear.

Suarez wants to leave.

The Uruguayan international is still on his summer break after helping his country reach the semifinals of the Confederations Cup. But when Suarez returns to Anfield later this month, it seems unlikely he will stick around for long.

Suarez’ agent Pere Guardiola — brother of Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola — has been on Merseyside for several amicable meetings and the conclusion doesn’t seem to be what Liverpool wanted. Suarez’ stance is that he wants Champions League football and doesn’t believe he will get that with the Reds.

And it is hard for Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers to come back with a valid response. Of course Suarez being banned for the first six games of the 2013-14 EPL season doesn’t help matters, despite the Anfield club standing by his side as many called for a public flogging of the striker after he bit Branislav Ivanovic’s arm last April.

Suarez has had plenty of support from Liverpool. But he doesn’t seem likely to stick around. He has used the Confederations Cup in Brazil to vent his anger and disgust at the way the English media and opposition fans have treated him. Suarez is disenchanted with life in England and a move to Spain seems most likely. 51 goals in 96 games for Liverpool has seen plenty of suitors line up already.

MORE: Arsenal make huge offer for Suarez, Liverpool flat out  reject it

Arsenal even put in a cheeky $45 million bid earlier this week. That was instantly rejected, and let’s be honest, Liverpool don’t want to sell him to another English club and Suarez has already stated his intention to move away from the EPL. So quite what Arsene Wenger was thinking is beyond me… Anyway.

But Liverpool are digging their heels in. However an offer of $75 million will twist their arm (problem not the best pun to use after Suarez’ antics…) into selling Suarez. But even Real Madrid and Barcelona won’t come up with that kind of cash for him. They know he wants out and will be willing to sit tight right up until the transfer deadline on August 31, to grab a bargain.

Don’t be surprised if this plays out all the way until then folks. That is a real option because he will not be able to play for Liverpool until September when his ban is lifted. So he can stick around and weigh up his best options.

If Liverpool may a great start to the season, can he forgive the English public and stay in the EPL to lead Liverpool towards Champions League qualification?

MORE: Friday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup, Suarez to Chelsea?

That could be a smart option. But with Suarez adamant that his future lies away from Liverpool, and England for that matter, the Reds will look to reluctantly sell him to a club on the European continent.

After his agents comments today, Suarez’ future at Anfield looks to be done and dusted. But when it comes to the Uruguayan ace, how can you ever be sure about anything?

One thing I do know, Liverpool should get rid of him to the highest bidder. Now.

Klopp hopes for speedy solution in club, fans’ ticket-price dispute

Liverpool's fans wave flags during the English League Cup semifinal second leg soccer match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
AP Photo/Jon Super
Leave a comment

From his time at Borussia Dortmund, Jurgen Klopp is used to a much more positive, family-like, everyone-pulling-in-the-same-direction atmosphere at his club of employment, so the present goings-on at Liverpool understandably have the Reds’ first-year manager feeling more than a little uneasy.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Saturday’s late 2-2 draw with Sunderland wasn’t the first time Liverpool fans have headed for the exit before the final whistle, leaving Klopp feeling all alone, but it was the first time the fans have departed from Anfield early in a pre-planned, organized manner (Klopp missed the game himself with appendicitis). The Anfield faithful didn’t walk out on 77 minutes due to their team’s poor performance — Liverpool were 2-0 ahead at the time — but in protest of steadily rising ticket prices, which were unveiled at $111 per game to sit in the 132-year-old stadium’s new main stand next season.

Klopp, coming from the Bundesliga, where a season ticket at clubs the size of Bayern Munich and Dortmund doesn’t cost much more than a single-game ticket at many Premier League grounds, understands the fans’ frustration. At the end of the day, though, he works for the club, which is why he just wants the whole thing settled quickly, for the sake of his squad — quotes from the BBC:

“It’s not what we want. What I know is everyone in the club has a big interest in finding a solution for this. We don’t want people to leave the stadium before the game is finished.”

An LFC TV appearance by Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre, in which he was expected to answer fan-submitted questions, was consequently canceled on Monday due to the ongoing dispute.

West Ham want Payet to sign new contract for fear of losing him this summer

Dimitri Payet, West Ham United FC (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
AP Photo/Frank Augstein
Leave a comment

Dimitri Payet is going to be a red-hot commodity during this summer’s transfer window, there’s no doubt about it.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Given he’s currently contracted to one of the Premier League’s “smaller” clubs — in comparison to some of the giants which are bound to be interested — West Ham United, there’s a decent-to-good chance he could be wearing a different club’s shirt come August. Especially if the 28-year-old attacker shows up and shows out at this summer’s European Championship in his native France.

If I can foresee the interest in Payet, then so too can the executives at West Ham, which is why manager Slaven Bilic took to the press on Monday to convey his desire for Payet to consider signing a new, increased contract at his earliest convenience — quotes from the Guardian:

“We are moving, the club is moving, with the new stadium, with the revenue and everything. We have to move and the most important move is to keep your best players and to add some new players who are needed and Dimitri Payet is our best player — I have no problem whatsoever to say that. Of course, I would love to have him happy, long term, at the club.”

Of course West Ham want Payet to sign a new deal immediately — doing so would accomplish two things in the club’s eyes: 1) increase the likelihood he remains at the club next season, or 2) insure the club receives a higher transfer fee for the player if he leaves in the summer anyway. The more total money remaining on his West Ham contract, the more they can demand of a prospective buyer.

[ MORE: Ronaldo commits himself to Real Madrid through 2018 ]

From Payet’s side — unless he has absolutely zero desire to move to a club like Liverpool, Chelsea or Manchester United, where he’d likely be paid close to $200,000 per week — he’d be crazy to sign a new contract at this point. Not only would it make a move this summer more difficult, but a strong showing at EURO 2016 could be worth another $15,000 or $20,000 per week on a new contract with West Ham (his current contract is rumored to be close to $100,000 per week).

With as many as five seasons still remaining on his current contract (a one-year club option can be exercised at any point), and his stock perhaps at an all-time high, the next six months could hold Payet’s last chance to get really, really paid before he hits the downside of his career.

USWNT players’ union responds in USSF lawsuit

FILE - In this Sunday, July 5, 2015 file photo, the United States Women's National Team celebrates with the trophy after they beat Japan 5-2 in the FIFA Women's World Cup soccer championship in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The U.S. Soccer Federation’s original lawsuit against the union for its champion women’s national team has been sealed after the governing body realized it had disclosed the home addresses and email accounts of many players, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016.(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
Leave a comment

(AP) — The union that represents the Women’s World Cup-winning American national team opposed an expedited schedule in the lawsuit filed against it by the U.S. Soccer Federation last week, insisting no collective bargaining agreement exists.

The federation sued in an attempt to establish it has a contract with the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Players Association that runs through this year’s Olympics until Dec. 31. The union maintains the memorandum of understanding agreed to in March 2013 can be terminated at any time.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USWNT coverage ]

The USSF filed a motion Friday in U.S. District Court in Chicago asking for an expedited schedule, and the submitted opposition papers Monday that claim “facts asserted in the motion are nowhere near accurate and are hotly disputed.”

The union also maintains the USSF knew about the disagreement since July but did nothing about it.

An initial status conference is set for April 4.

Lionel Messi to undergo tests for lingering kidney problems

FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi holds the ball during a quarterfinal, second leg, Copa del Rey soccer match against Athletic Bilbao at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
AP Photo/Manu Fernandez
Leave a comment

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Barcelona says Lionel Messi is to undergo medical tests to assess a recurrence of kidney problems.

[ MORE: Saturday’s La Liga roundup | Barca win on Sunday

Messi missed the Club World Cup semifinal in December due to a renal colic, an abdominal ailment often related to the presence of kidney stones within renal ducts.

Barcelona says in a statement Monday that the tests to be conducted by Tuesday at the latest, are “to assess the evolution of the kidney problem he suffered last December.”

[ MORE: Champions League returns next week — KO round matchups ]

The statement says Messi will resume training with the squad on Wednesday, when Barcelona travels to Valencia for the return leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals in which it carries a 7-0 lead.