Transfer Talk: Four possible destinations for unsettled Suarez
Luis Suarez will hope to roll back the years and wreak havoc against Manchester United once again this evening — if he gets on the field.
The ex-Liverpool striker, now 35, heads to Old Trafford looking to help Atletico Madrid to the Champions League quarter-finals with the tie delicately poised following a 1-1 draw in the first leg.
But with just three goals in his last 20 club appearances and having started Atleti’s last three games on the bench, the Uruguayan looks increasingly likely to depart when his contract expires this summer.
We consider four possible destinations for the evergreen forward.
Suarez was arguably at the peak of his powers during the back end of his Anfield stint, starring alongside current Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard.
So nearly firing the Reds to a first Premier League title in the 2013-14 season, the forward’s all-action approach saw him torment the division’s defences on a weekly basis.
A return to England would therefore surely be of interest — and Gerrard has already shown a liking for signing former team-mates.
The 41-year-old moved quickly to bring Philippe Coutinho to the West Midlands on loan in January and would surely jump at the chance to do similar with Suarez.
Desperate to continue playing regularly at a high level, Villa Park could prove the perfect destination for the veteran.
Asked by reporters in his homeland whether he would consider finishing his career in Uruguay last year, Suarez suggested that "somewhere like USA or Asia" was more likely.
If he is ready to embark on his last hurrah, perhaps MLS club Inter Miami — co-owned by David Beckham — provide the best fit.
Already boasting ex-Juventus forward Gonzalo Higuain in their ranks, Miami have an eye for the spectacular and even made an audacious bid to lure Lionel Messi to the Sunshine State last summer.
Recent reports suggest they are monitoring Suarez’s situation closely, though financial sanctions for breaching budget guidelines will make matching his current £10million-a-year wages tricky.
Who could forget Arsenal’s audacious attempt to land Suarez from Liverpool in 2013?
The Gunners, then managed by legendary boss Arsene Wenger, were left mortified after offering Liverpool £40,000,001 for the Uruguayan — attempting to trigger a release clause that it soon transpired did not exist.
Nine years on, the North Londoners may be tempted to try again.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s unceremonious recent exit and uncertainty over the future of Alexandre Lacazette means an experienced striker is likely to be high on Mikel Arteta’s wish list this summer.
With Arsenal on an upward curve and holding a strong chance of Champions League qualification, a short-term deal for Suarez could appeal to both player and club ahead of next term.
If Suarez is up for grabs come summer, expect Dutch giants Ajax to throw their hat into the ring.
It was in Amsterdam where the forward’s career really took off as a youngster after he netted a remarkable 111 goals in 159 games in all competitions for de Godenzonen between 2007 and 2011.
A return to the Dutch capital would make sense on several fronts, with Erik ten Hag’s side set to be raided for several promising youngsters at the end of the campaign.
Those departures would likely make Suarez a guaranteed starter and it is hard to imagine the marksman failing to find the net with regularity in the Eredivisie.
Adding in the lure of Champions League football and emotional ties, it is not hard to envision an agreement being struck.