The Spanish giants are willing to pay up to £60 million to land the Liverpool star as they look to bolster their attacking line-up to challenge for La Liga and the Champions League
By Wayne Veysey
Real Madrid are preparing a sensational January move for Luis Suarez, Goal understands.
The Spanish giants have made the in-form Liverpool striker their No.1 marquee target for 2014 and will pull out all the stops to get him.
Goal understands that Real are willing to pay up to €72 million to land Suarez.
Liverpool rate Suarez in the same bracket as Gareth Bale, who joined Real for a world record €100m last summer, but the Uruguayan turns 27 in January and is unlikely to ever be able to command a higher fee than next year.
The Merseysiders resisted a £40m-plus-£1 bid from Arsenal for their prize asset in July and Liverpool would instantly dismiss a fresh attempt to sign him from a club they regard as rivals.
Arsene Wenger remains a huge admirer of Suarez but, as reported by Goal in November, Arsenal’s pursuit of the forward is now “dead in the water”.
However, a transfer overseas to a club of Real’s prestige would be regarded as more palatable to Liverpool and their supporters.
The Spanish club prefer to do their principal transfer business in the summer window but signed Emmanuel Adebayor on a six-month loan deal in January 2011 when he was out of favour at Manchester City.
The only senior striker currently on Real’s books, following the €37m sale of Gonzalo Higuain in July, is Karim Benzema. Suarez has the added attraction of being available to play in the Champions League knockout stages in the new year due to Liverpool not playing in European competition.
Sources have told Goal that Real will begin laying the foundations for a concerted push for Suarez in January, although the likelihood remains that they are more likely to get him next summer.
Suarez has been in outstanding form since returning to the Liverpool side following a 10-match domestic ban. The 26-year-old has scored 12 goals in 10 matches this season, including four in Liverpool’s 5-1 midweek win over Norwich City.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers claimed on Wednesday that Suarez is the “happiest” he has ever been at Anfield and the player himself has said that he wants to help the Merseyside club clinch a top-four league finish before deciding his future.
However, Suarez went public with his desire to move to the Bernabeu last summer and is likely to have his head turned by strong interest from the club.