Reds consider legal action: Liverpool are taking legal advice to establish, among other things, whether they have grounds to challenge the FIFA ban handed out to Luis Suarez. The Independent is among the papers to report that the club are keeping their distance from the incident while they take counsel and gather information and before they comment further. The paper explains that there is a possibility the Reds, who stand to lose their star player for the first nine Premier League matches of next season, as well as the first three Champions League group games, could appeal through the FA if they can argue that Suarez is registered with the FA, even though he plays for Uruguay. As a last resort the club could appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Paper Round's view: Liverpool have every right to be upset with FIFA's decision, given it deprives them of their best player for a large chunk of the season. But it is Suarez who has brought this on himself and it was Liverpool who stood by him when in the past he gave indications of what was to come. They have been let down by nobody other than Suarez himself. Rather than drag the 'case' through various levels of the courts - and sullying their reputation as an upstanding club (which has already taken a big hit with the way they dealt with Suarez's racist abuse of Patrice Evra) - a better way to deal with this situation would be to simply offload him, bring in one or two decent replacements and avoid any further chance of controversy.
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Liverpool prepared to sell - or not: There are conflicting reports as to whether Liverpool are indeed willing to sell up. The Daily Mirror is among several papers to report that Barcelona are still keen on a deal, with the Anfield club prepared to do business. The Spanish club will try to get Suarez on the cheap, given that he is now damaged goods, and they believe they can get him for £50m - cheaper than the £80m player-plus-cash that had earlier been mooted. Liverpool are understood to be holding out for £70m. The Liverpool Echo, however, claims "the early indications are that Liverpool aren’t ready to wash their hands of him...despite the embarrassment the striker has once again heaped on the club".
Paper Round's view: As above, now could be a great time to get rid of Suarez, before he does something else that would see his value plummet. If Barca are still keen, Liverpool could capitalise and insist Alexis Sanchez and Pedro are included in a deal. At least they would then be set for the start of the Premier League season with a full complement and ready to go in the Champions League.
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Butt to get United role: Nicky Butt is set to remain with Manchester United as the Louis van Gaal era dawns, reports the Daily Mail. The paper believes the former midifielder will continue in his position as manager of the U19 side in the UEFA Youth League while working alongside Warren Joyce with the U21 team. A highly-placed source told the paper "The Class of 92 are very important to Manchester United." Meanwhile, the future of Phil Neville remains clouded in mystery.
Paper Round's view: Good news for United, whose links to the past are important to the club. Encouragingly, Van Gaal appears to understand this, having already installed Ryan Giggs as his assistant and now retaining Butt. As for Neville, he could always focus on his punditry if he doesn't get a call from the Dutchman. Couldn't he?
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Arsenal target Debuchy: Mathieu Debuchy has emerged as a target for Arsenal, who are looking to replace new Manchester City signing Bacary Sagna. The Sun reports that Newcastle's French World Cup star, rated at £8m, is looking for Champions League football and is ready for a move from St. James' Park. Inevitably, Paris Saint Germain are also interested in the 28-year-old.
Paper Round's view: Debuchy is ahead of Sagna in the national team pecking order and is younger, so a trade-up would appear to be good business for the Gunners, even if it will cost them £8m. Yet considering Arsene Wenger has a reported £100m to spend this summer, that amount is barely a drop in the ocean.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Luis Suarez
- Premier League
- Liverpool Echo