Luis Suarez has been in almost constant contact with his Liverpool superiors this summer, according to a report from the Liverpool Echo on Friday. But while that revelation provides interesting context for Suarez's transfer saga, it probably will not alter the outcome one way or the other.
Here's the skinny, from Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers as quoted by the Echo:
We’re communicating in some way with him nearly every day—either through text or conversation—and I hope he stays. I really do.
Over the course of the last few months and towards the end of last season there was a lot of speculation about Luis because of his situation and what happened (the Ivanovic biting incident) but the fact is we value the player – he had a terrific season for us and showed his qualities.
I’m in regular communication with him both through texts and conversations on the phone. He’s an absolute magician on the football field and a very valued player by us.
Coincidentally, Suarez himself had something to say recently about phone conversations. In a recent radio interview cited by the Echo this week, the Uruguayan striker said he would turn up for preseason training July 21 but quickly suggested that there's more to the story.
“In football you never know what is going to happen. A phone call can change everything," he said. “There are a few options and the club knows that. Are there any concrete options? No, so far there hasn’t been any. There are two or three clubs who I think are willing and the club knows that.”
As anyone who has followed Suarez this summer already knows, those were hardly his first or most provocative comments.
In May, after receiving a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic, Suarez confirmed his desire to leave Liverpool. While doing so, he complained about the supposedly poor treatment he has received from the British media. He also batted his eyelashes at Real Madrid, saying it would be hard to turn down the Spanish club.
That brings us back to Rodgers' comments.
It appears that while Suarez was running his mouth about Real Madrid, the British media and those "two or three clubs" that could be interested in him, he was also speaking to his manager almost every day.
That takes a bit of pluck—or to use Suarez's native Spanish, cojones.
None of that should be surprising, of course. The man is serving a 10-match suspension for biting a fellow professional, and he's also served time for directing a racially charged word at Manchester United's Patrice Evra. Suarez might be many things, but one thing he's not is a timid wallflower.
Beyond that, the story also hints at how much Liverpool want to keep Suarez. Through all the drama and all the interviews and all the speculation and all the rumors, Rodgers has remained in contact with his mercurial striker "nearly every day." When Rodgers says he wants to keep Suarez, he clearly means it.
One thing this news doesn't do is change much of anything. It is true that Liverpool would be in a worse situation if Suarez had remained out of contact all summer. But if Liverpool receive the right offer—the Mirror suggests that would be £40 million—Suarez will be out the door regardless.