Steven Gerrard’s hopes of reuniting with Luis Suarez this summer have taken a hit, as a transfer rival claims to have held talks over the striker’s capture.
Aston Villa have already signed Philippe Coutinho on a permanent basis following his initial loan spell. Gerrard’s former Liverpool team-mate cost Villa £17million, as per Sky Sports.
When Coutinho originally joined Aston Villa in January, rumours began to swirl about a move for Suarez, too.
They were seen as being ambitious, to say the least. But the goalscorer will become a free agent at the start of next month and could actually end up at Villa Park.
According to a recent report from The Athletic, Gerrard is in regular contact with Suarez ahead of a potential summer move.
Villa are targeting a new forward, left-back and midfielder in the transfer window. So bringing in the Uruguay international would be a short-term solution to the first position that needs strengthening.
Suarez is now 35 but still has the ability to make an impact in a top-five league. During the most recent campaign, he hit 13 goals in 45 matches. The season before, Suarez scored 21 times to help Atletico win the La Liga title.
Unfortunately for the Villans, Suarez is picking up interest from another team.
Club chief reveals Luis Suarez talks
According to River Plate president Jorge Brito, who has been speaking on Radio La Red (via Sport), the Argentine club have been in transfer discussions with Suarez.
River Plate officials met the attacker’s representative in Paris recently.
Brito says River Plate are willing to pay Suarez £4.2m per year to take him back to South America – he hasn’t played there since 2006.
Such a figure would see Suarez earn just under £81,000 a week. That’s a significant sum for a club outside of Europe to offer.
River Plate manager Marcelo Gallardo would love to link up with Suarez, according to Brito. This is especially the case as Julian Alvarez prepares to join Manchester City.
Suarez wants to remain in Europe to give him the best chance of making Uruguay’s World Cup squad later this year. But he is yet to rule out a River Plate switch.
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River Plate’s pursuit of Suarez is certainly an audacious one, given his international priorities.
However, they can offer him a big financial package and a chance to go closer to his home country.
Villa will have confidence in their own pull power after taking Coutinho to the West Midlands. But River Plate are certainly a big threat and this may force Gerrard’s team into a quick decision.
Meanwhile, Wednesday’s Euro Paper Talk has the latest on Manchester United and Leeds’ summer transfer plans.