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.

Salah returns to Egypt starting lineup

Getty Images
Leave a comment

A familiar name returned to the starting lineup for Egypt on Tuesday afternoon.

Egypt named star Mohamed Salah in its starting XI, after resting Salah in Egypt’s 1-0 defeat to Uguruay on June 15. Salah has been recovering from an injured shoulder that he suffered during the UEFA Champions League final in late May.

Salah makes his World Cup debut now against the host nation, Russia, at 2:00 p.m.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.

 

Senegal hold off late charge, defeat Poland on controversial goal

Getty Images
1 Comment

Two matches, two upsets.

For the second time on Tuesday, an underdog took down a favorite as Senegal defeated Poland, 2-1, with the game-winning goal decided in controversial fashion.

In the 60th minute, M’baye Niang was waved onto the field by the referee while the ball was still in play in the middle of the field, and Niang raced on to the end of a Gregorz Krychowiak backpass that stunned the Poland defense. Niang arrived at the pass a second quicker than goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, allowing the Senegal winger to score into an empty net.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

The VAR checked the goal but it was allowed, as it was a subjective decision of the referee to allow Niang back on the field following an injury, and not a clear and obvious error.

Senegal took the lead in the first half on the counter attack. With Poland slow in transition, Sadio Mane found Idrissa Gueye in space at the top of the box. After two touches, Gueye fired a strike to the far post in the 37th minute that took a wicked deflection off Poland defender Thiago Cionek and left Szczesny helpless.

Poland struggled all game against the pace and physicality of Senegal and the Lions of Teranga were very smart in controlling possession and switching the field, forcing the Poland squad to tire quickly.

Krychowiak did breathe some life into the game with a header goal off a free kick in the 86th minute, but despite some poor clock management from Senegal, its defense was able to hold off Poland’s last-ditch chance to tie the game, going level with Japan on three points at the top of Group H.

Report: Blatter to attend Portugal vs. Morocco as guest of Putin

Getty Images
1 Comment

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter is still in the middle of an eight-year ban from the organization he once ran.

But that doesn’t mean he’s going to miss out on some of the World Cup action, live in Russia.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

BBC journalist Richard Conway reported early Tuesday that Blatter is set to watch Portugal vs. Morocco in Moscow as a guest of Russian president Vladimir Putin. The 82-year-old would normally not be able to sit in the presidential box due to his FIFA ban, though he likely could attend matches with a regular ticket like the vast majority of soccer fans.

Just four years ago, Blatter was president during the 2014 World Cup, one that was marred by corruption scandals in addition to the corruption scandals surrounding the World Cup bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.

His reign of power at FIFA finally came to an end on June 2, 2015, when he resigned following an embarrassing month for FIFA in which many of its members were arrested in a joint-raid between the Swiss authorities and the FBI.

Blatter was eventually handed an eight-year ban from FIFA’s ethics committee for an “unauthorized payment” of $2 million from Blatter to Michel Platini, the former France star and FIFA vice president who was also handed an eight-year suspension.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Fekir negotiations back on; Chelsea waiting on transfer targets; and more

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Could Liverpool get its star attacking midfield target after all?

That’s what seems to be the case, as the agent for Lyon and France midfielder Nabil Fekir told French TV channel LCI Monday evening that negotiations aren’t over between Liverpool and Lyon.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

“He didn’t sign because um… it is not over! This is not the end of the story,” Fekir’s agent, Jean-Pierre Bernes reportedly said.

It was just two weeks ago when Lyon president Jean-Michael Aulas stated that Fekir, Lyon’s captain, would remain with the club for the upcoming season, after negotiations with Liverpool fell through. According to the Liverpool Echo, the Reds wanted a second opinion on a previous knee injury, and had balked at the $70 million price tag.

But now it appears Liverpool and Aulas could still be in conversations to try and find a mutually accepted fee.

At the same time, stirring up transfer drama is in Bernes interest, as it could drive other teams into the race to sign Fekir and raise his transfer fee, meaning more money to him, Fekir (if he gets a cut) and Lyon. Watch this space for more to come during and after the World Cup.

Here’s some more transfer rumors from across the Premier League and Europe:

(more…)