The Luis Suarez saga has taken another bizarre turn, because of course it has.
According to reports, Suarez has now relented on his desire to leave Liverpool, at least temporarily, and may even agree to sign a contract extension, although you should probably believe that one when you see a pig flapping its wings outside of your window.
Ultimately, however, all Suarez has done is delay his inevitable sale with these comments. And you can bet your bottom dollar he'll be sold at some point in the next year, even if it's next summer.
First, Suarez's reported comments, via The Guardian:
Luis Suarez has apparently told a Uruguayan newspaper that he is staying at Liverpool. The striker, who is on international duty as Uruguay prepare to play a friendly against Japan in Tokyo, has said in El Observador that he will stay at Anfield and may even sign a contract extension.
Suárez is reported to have said: "For now, due to all of the people's affection, I will be staying."
Earlier on Wednesday, the GolTV Latin America journalist Martin Charquero tweeted: "Luis Suarez confirms to me that he will not leave Liverpool. The support of the fans in recent weeks influenced his decision. Suarez sees it as likely that he'll sign a renewal to the contract that binds him to Liverpool."
Liverpool, though, have yet to hear directly from Suarez.
There are several things to focus on here. First, that last sentence is key. Secondly, the "for now" in his comments don't exactly scream, "I'm super excited about remaining with Liverpool, you guys!"
Thirdly, there isn't a snowman's chance in a sauna that Suarez will sign an extension after a summer that saw Brendan Rodgers demand Suarez apologize to his teammates and the Liverpool supporters for trying to push a transfer away from Anfield.
It would be one of the truly baffling 180-degree turns of all time if he did decide to extend his stay, that much is certain.
If Suarez sticks around after the summer transfer period ends, there are several scenarios that could play out:
- He sulks, underperforms once he returns from his suspension and is sold in January.
- He sulks, underperforms for the duration of the year and is sold next summer.
- He returns to action and plays well...but Liverpool fail to finish in the top four, and this entire saga plays out again next summer.
- He returns to action, plays well and Liverpool surprisingly finish in the top four. Suarez has his Champions League football and he and the club bury the hatchet.
Let's be honest—the first two scenarios are the most likely, the third is feasible and the fourth is the thin thread of hope that Rodgers, the club and its supporters are grasping to like a rope dangling off the side of the cliff they are about to slide down.
And what happens if he does sulk? Does his poor attitude trickle down to his younger, more impressionable teammates? Does he play selfishly on the pitch? Does he end up ultimately hurting his value on the transfer market with a less-then-stellar season? Will Liverpool regret not selling high?
In the game of chicken played between Suarez and Liverpool this summer, it appears the player has blinked first. But that is no guarantee that Suarez won't turn the car around, honk at Liverpool and demand they play again before January rolls around.
For now, this issue appears to be resolved. But if it festers throughout the year and poisons this Liverpool season, you can bet the Reds will wish they had sold Suarez this summer rather than let an inevitable divorce define the 2013-14 season.