The deal’s not quite official, with Liverpool and AC Milan yet to decide if they can come to an agreement on a fee that would allow Suso to move to Italy this month, but the 21-year-old attacking midfielder has passed his medical and agreed to terms with the rebuilding Serie A giants. Sky Italia caught up with Suso last night, asking the young Spaniard about his impending move.
"I’m very happy to be coming to Milan," said Suso following his medical and before heading off to meet with club CEO Adriano Galliani. "I haven’t spoken to Coach Inzaghi yet, and I’ve only done the medical so far and I hope it all went well. Do I have a message for the Milan fans? I’m not here for long right now, but we’ll find out soon when I am able to play."
The medical is believed to have gone well, and Suso will have returned to Liverpool today as the two clubs continue to try to hammer out a deal behind the scenes. Given the player intends to leave either now or in the summer and that he has seen little action for Liverpool, it is expected that the club will allow him to leave this month for a nominal fee.
Even if the two clubs cannot agree a fee, Liverpool will be owed training compensation under FIFA guidelines as the player leaving on a free is under 23 years of age. Training compensation is calculated to cover salaries or allowances paid before the player signed his first professional contract, accommodation expenses, as well as equipment, medical, and travel costs.
Individual associations set their own standards for free youth transfers within a federation, and the English FA has set a relatively high bar for compensation. When switching between leagues, though, FIFA’s standards apply, and given the largest sunk cost—player salary—only applies to what has been paid a player before he signed a professional contract, compensation for Suso will not be especially high.
Suso has made 14 league appearances for Liverpool since he arrived at the club from Cadiz in 2010. He spent last season out on loan with Almeria, scoring three goals in 33 La Liga appearances. Though he showed promise during his year back in Spain, there were also concerns related to a month-long benching after the player missed training amidst rumours he had embraced a hard partying lifestyle.
His last appearance for Liverpool was against Middlesborough in the League Cup, when Suso came on as a late substitute, scored a goal in extra time, and was then involved in a lengthy penalty shootout the Reds eventually won 14-13.