Real Madrid may make a late bid for Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, according to the Mail Online. It is believed Santiago Bernabeu chiefs will move for the Uruguay international if Arsenal are successful in a rumoured £40m bid for France international Karim Benzema.
Brendan Rodgers and John W Henry have spent much of this summer keeping the Gunners from stealing the 26-year-old Suarez, who was believed to be a key target for Arsenal and Arsene Wenger, who has been hounded by demands to spend some of the £70m the north London club's board have made available for transfers.
The Gunners made at least two bids for the former Ajax forward, the second of which was a £40,000,001 offer to trigger a release clause, according to the Guardian. However, the Reds held firm and were backed by PFA chief Gordon Taylor, who confirmed it was "almost impossible" for Suarez to leave if Liverpool did not want to sell him.
And just when it was confirmed Arsenal had given up on signing Suarez, Rodgers has a new and arguably bigger problem to worry over. Suarez is eager to force a move this summer (although he has also accepted he will stay on at Anfield if nothing works out) and if he was ready to move to the Emirates he will be more than prepared to move to the Spanish capital, particularly since he will be guaranteed first team football; Madrid have only Benzema as a front-line striker, having sold Gonzalo Higuain to Serie A club Napoli earlier this summer.
"I'm sure there will be plenty of activity in these last days (before the window closes). We will deal with it like we have during the summer. We are trying to get one or two more quality players. If we (were to) lose Luis at this stage... there might have been a point a few months ago where there was time to (replace him) but with 11 days to go it would be difficult," Rodgers said, when asked about a Madrid bid for Suarez.
The Spaniards were linked to Suarez earlier in this transfer window but have yet to make a formal approach, according to the player himself. Speaking to the Liverpool Echo in the first week of August, he said, "There were a lot of rumours (about Real) that were different to reality. Madrid never called me personally or Liverpool to try and negotiate. Every player aspires to reach the top and Real Madrid is among the most important clubs in the world. It would be very difficult to say no to Real Madrid."
As things stand, if Madrid do want Suarez, they will likely be quoted the same (if not higher) price that Arsenal were - in excess of £50m. And with a mega-money bid for Tottenham winger Gareth Bale still in the pipeline, it remains to be seen what attacking options, aside from Cristiano Ronaldo, new Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti will enjoy this season.