Friday Kickoff: Liverpool owner Henry won’t sell Suarez; Pirlo could leave Juve next summer; and more

LuisSuarezLiverpoolMelbourneVictory3 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Luis Suarez’s potential move away from Anfield is looking bleaker by the day.

A day after Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said that the Suarez transfer from Liverpool to Arsenal was on “standby,” Liverpool’s American owner John Henry came out with his first long-form public statements on the matter.

Henry stated unequivocally that Suarez wouldn’t be sold to Arsenal or any club, at any price, likely ending Arsenal’s quest to sign the Uruguayan. The development leaves the Arsenal boss in a deep rut, having missed on a number of transfer targets this summer including Stevan Jovetic (Man City), Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli), and Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen).

Suarez has made his feelings known with public comments about wanting a deal to be completed. However, it seems that Liverpool are ready to play hardball with the striker and have for now sent him to train on his own at the training ground each day.

Here are some more stories to get your Friday kicked off:

PIRLO WANTS JUVE EXTENSION BUT COULD LEAVE AT SEASON’S END

With his contract set to expire at the end of the season, Italian national team star Andrea Pirlo is looking for a new contract.

The 34-year-old midfielder has said that he wants to stay with Juventus, where he has been since signing on a free transfer in 2011, but if he isn’t in the club’s plans then he could be moving once more to another destination.

“Juve are my priority, but I don’t want to be a weight for anybody,” Pirlo told Gazzetta Dello Sport. “The years go by, but it is not written that I have to stay here just because I am called Pirlo. I want to feel important and a part of the side’s success, otherwise I’ll leave. But I want to underline that it won’t be a problem about money or choosing between one club and another.

“If I had to change, perhaps I’ll go abroad. I’ll certainly continue playing for a high level team.”

Pirlo was rumored to be interested in joining Real Madrid this summer, but the Italian legend denied the reports, saying that although he speaks to new Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti regularly, he is staying to fight for another Scudetto.

Last season, Pirlo scored five times in 45 matches for Juventus as they won their second straight Serie A title.

AGUERO SET TO RETURN FOR MAN CITY OPENER

After missing nearly all of the preseason and summer training months, Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero looks to be returning just in time.

The Argentine forward, who last played for the Sky Blues on May 23 in a postseason friendly vs. Chelsea at Yankee Stadium, is likely to be available for Man City when they take the pitch on August 19 against Newcastle. Aguero has been recovering from a knee injury suffered this summer, but the forward is expected back in training this week.

The 25-year-old Aguero struggled with injuries last season, scoring just 17 times in all competitions compared to his 2011/2012 totals when he bagged 30 in all competitions, and 23 alone in the English Premier League.

TOTTENHAM WANT JESE IN BALE DEAL

In negotiations between Tottenham and Real Madrid over Gareth Bale, a new complication has emerged.

Tottenham have decided that if Madrid won’t include forward Alvaro Morata in the Bale deal, then starler Jese Rodriguez should be included in the player+cash swap for the Welsh midfielder Bale.

Jese starred recently for the Spanish Under-20 side at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, scoring five goals in five games despite Spain losing in the quarterfinals of the competition. The 20-year-old also scored 22 goals for the Real Madrid B side in the Spanish second division last season, and has been included in the first team roster this season with the losses of Gonzalo Higuain and Jose Callejon leaving room for Jese and Morata.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is now requesting that Madrid pay upwards of €120 million plus Jese, while Madrid are countering with €100 million plus Fabio Coentrao.

QUICK KICKS

Liverpool midfielder Raheem Sterling has been charged with assault by the local authorities. The England Under-21 midfielder has plead not guilty. (REPORT)

Europa League clubs will earn a gross total of €208.75 million for participating this season. (REPORT)

Atletico Madrid youngster Koke has been selected by Vicente Del Bosque to be on Spain’s 21-man squad for their friendly next Wednesday at Ecuador. If he plays it would be his senior debut for La Roja. (REPORT)

Returned English Premier League side Crystal Palace have sold the naming rights to their stadium to 12Bet, an British gambling company. (REPORT)

———

What do you make of these developments? Do you see Suarez forcing a move out? Do you see Pirlo leaving Juventus at the end of the season? Do you see Aguero featuring for Man City in their opener?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, South American Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Friday Kickoff: Liverpool owner Henry won’t sell Suarez; Pirlo could leave Juve next summer; and more

  1. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    Let the Pirlo to MLS rumors begin!

  2. slowleftarm says:

    Jese to Tottenham? A trade in soccer? Alain Rochat’s head must be spinning!

    • Kosh says:

      LOL.

      Yeah, that BPL is sooo busch league – not letting a contracted player leave whenever they want. Putting a player up as trade bait without their knowledge and consent. Any league that does that cannot be considered major…wait…

    • Nate Dollars says:

      the difference being that jese, or any player in any(?) league besides mls would have to actually agree to the transfer.

      rochat’s complaint wasn’t that he was transferred; it was that mls doesn’t require a player’s consent.

      of course, that’s not as fun as misguided snark, so by all means, keep going.

    • Paul says:

      slowleftarm

      Once again, you do not know the subtle difference of the two. Jese would have to agree for the trade to go through. Rochat had no such option.

  3. HoboMike says:

    While I respect Levy playing hardball, he needs to drop the act and sell quickly, or he’ll be left where he was when he went through this with Modric – too much money to spend and no one to spend it on.

    As for Liverpool (and Dortmund) I love it when teams refuse to be bullied by their players (Suarez, Lewandowski).

    • Paul says:

      Except in Lewandowski’s case, he will walk next year (last year of his contract) for absolutely nothing. He’s definitely leaving. The only question is when and for how much.

    • Thebumswillalwayslose says:

      I think Levy is taking a calculated (albeit major) risk here. Yes there is a crap-ton of money on the table right now, but I honestly believe that he feels like the team he’s assembled so far, with Gareth Bale being the key piece, can qualify for the Champions League and do some serious damage in the Prem. And honestly, I don’t totally disagree with him. You can come up with a formidable front six from Soldado, Bale, Lennon, Chadli, Siggurdson, Paulinho, Sandro, Dembele and Holtby.

      With Bale under contract until 2016, Levy has the option of seeing if the squad he’s put together clicks and can make a run. If they can, great. I think Levy (and most Spurs fans) would take a Champions League place over 100 million pounds. If they never gel, can’t get it together or AVB can’t make it work, he can sell Bale in the January window. He may not get 100 million, but he’ll still get a huge fee and can look fans in the eye and say “We made a run, it didn’t work, now I’m cashing in.”

      So in that situation, he’s going to hold out unless Madrid give him exactly what he wants. Of course the 600 lb gorilla is, what happens if Bale gets hurt? Then he’s not part of your squad, Spurs chances of CL qualification drop significantly AND they’re out a cool 100 million pounds.

    • Thebumswillalwayslose says:

      Ugh…. edited for moderation…..

      I think Levy is taking a calculated (albeit major) risk here. Yes there is a crap-ton of money on the table right now, but I honestly believe that he feels like the team he’s @ssembled so far, with Gareth Bale being the key piece, can qualify for the Champions League and do some serious damage in the Prem. And honestly, I don’t totally disagree with him. You can come up with a formidable front six from Soldado, Bale, Lennon, Chadli, Siggurdson, Paulinho, Sandro, Dembele and Holtby.

      With Bale under contract until 2016, Levy has the option of seeing if the squad he’s put together clicks and can make a run. If they can, great. I think Levy (and most Spurs fans) would take a Champions League place over 100 million pounds. If they never gel, can’t get it together or AVB can’t make it work, he can sell Bale in the January window. He may not get 100 million, but he’ll still get a huge fee and can look fans in the eye and say “We made a run, it didn’t work, now I’m cashing in.”

      So in that situation, he’s going to hold out unless Madrid give him exactly what he wants. Of course the 600 lb gorilla is, what happens if Bale gets hurt? Then he’s not part of Spurs squad, their chances of CL qualification drop significantly AND they’re out a cool 100 million pounds.

  4. Indeed says:

    Being an Arsenal fan is a sometimes painful experience i.e. any time a transfer window is open.

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      Sigh. Yup. This could still happen, however. I mean, the guy is already moody – is forcing him to stay really going to help the club build? Rightly or wrongly, Suarez is now going to be a season long distraction. If he goes through a down streak – and all goal scorers do – the fans are going to jump on him. At this point, Liverpool should take the money.

      Although I wish Wenger did not gamble and took Higuian…

      • Paul says:

        I completely agree and Higuain wanted to come. I knew this would happen. Liverpool would sooner rather sell him to club in a different league. Arsenal balked at 40 million Euros, which is a lot, within market value for strikers this summer. I knew this would happen

        • Indeed says:

          Arsene has mismanaged this entire summer so badly. Its almost pathetic.

          We only have 2 keepers, 3 CB’s, 0 DM’s, no wingers (walcott thinks he’s a striker and wenger projects Ox as a CM)…. *sigh

      • Indeed says:

        If Liverpool had any sense, they would take the money while there is still time to spend it. Suarez is the petulant type and I honestly do not see him putting in maximum effort for Liverpool if they make him stay.

        We’ve seen this Fabregas, Nasri, RVP, etc. There comes a point where its more detirmental to keep that player.

        • wides says:

          I think LFC would rather he played by himself on the training ground for an entire year than have him play for Arsenal.

      • wides says:

        A season long distraction is much better than selling your best player to one of the teams you’re already chasing to get into the champions league.

        Liverpool has money and has been trying to spend it, much like Arsenal. Unfortunately, just like Arsenal, they’ve had trouble getting their man (Mkhitaryan, De Costa). Though the difference seems to be Liverpool don’t have UCL while Arsenal seem to not be hitting “market valuation” of a player like Higuain. What’s an extra £40-50m worth if you can’t get any UCL caliber players into the squad? LFC is better off with him rotting on his own at Melwood than selling him to Arsenal.

        Honestly, I think the drama is mostly over. Liverpool, Rodgers, and Henry have all made their position absolutely clear. Suarez doesn’t really have any big cards left to play. He can submit a transfer request, but we all know that they aren’t necessarily worth the paper they’re written on.

  5. Jason says:

    Tottenham looking like the team I’m hoping will fall straight on their faces.

  6. Reid says:

    For those it applies to about the EPL season. Just talked to Dish Network and complained I have to pay for an additional 99 channels just to be able to watch NBC sports. They upgraded me for the entire season (end of May) for the same cost that I have been paying all along.
    Told them I was looking to go to Comcast (even though it sucks) just for the one channel.

  7. Runawray says:

    Is this the same Koke that the Dynamo “signed” for the hottest of minutes?

    • AcidBurn says:

      Nope, different Koke (it was Sergio Contreras Pardo that flamed out for the Dynamo). Now that was a bizarre transfer, didn’t that Koke leave Dynamo after a month?

      Yup, just looked him up, he then went to play in Azerbaijan and is now playing in Bolivia. Whoa.

  8. bryan says:

    do not get rid of Jese!!!! Bale is not worth all that money and Jese. this is insane!

    Pirlo just wants to come to MLS.

  9. CASportsDev says:

    Suarez can go straight into the reserves, that’s what happens when you sign a contract and refuse to honor it. I’ve always known he was an idiot, even before he was a Liverpool player. But many pro players are, so it’s not that surprising.

    Cnsidering he wants to leave England to sign for a Champions League team, it should come as no surprise he wants to sign for the one English team that won’t make it out of the group stage… if they even qualify in the first place. Liverpool and Tottenham have improved from last season, especially if Spurs restock with Bale money, while Arsenal picked up (surprise) nobody except some French kids. If he thinks Liverpool will sell him to their competition for a Champions League spot, he’s even dumber than I’d imagined and if Arsenal really have money to burn, I’ve always thought they were a smarter than to waste it on Suarez.