Normally, for a club like Liverpool, January is a time to focus on potential incomings. On new signings who, if the club can seal the deal, might help them to push on in the second half of the season. So far this year, it’s been about impending departures. Steven Gerrard is all but officially heading to LA Galaxy once his current contract runs down, and he’s now joined by Suso as a player whose departure is now a certainty.
Like Gerrard, Suso’s contract runs down this summer and that he would move to AC Milan when it did has long been suspected. Now, his agent has confirmed that the 21-year-old attacking midfielder has agreed a four-year deal with the Serie A side and that the only question left before the move is officially announced is whether the two clubs can agree a deal that would see the youngster move now rather than after the end of the season.
"I can confirm that there is an agreement between Milan and Suso of a four-year contract," said agent Jaime Serra when asked about the future of his client, who has made 21 appearances for Liverpool since arriving in 2010 and spent last season out on loan with La Liga side Almeria to mixed results. "There’s a possibility [he moves in January]. We’ll just have to see what happens between now and the end of the transfer window."
Liverpool had attempted to reach a new deal with the player last summer, but at 21 years of age and needing playing time to come good on his promise, the player instead chose to look elsewhere. Even while Liverpool were trying to get him to sign a new contract, rumours of a departure to Milan were flying, and so for the past six months it has seemed only a matter of when, not if, Suso departed Anfield for the San Siro.
Given his clear promise, there’s every chance that Liverpool will go on to regret losing the talented youngster, but at the end of the day the club did what it could. That Suso was kept through last summer rather than being sold despite his contract situation suggests a hope that in the end they might still have been able to convince him to sign a new deal. If Suso was determined not to, though, there is little more they could have done.
In some ways, it’s a similar situation to Gerrard’s. Both players wanted more minutes than the club could give them. Both are players the club would have preferred to keep hold of. Both players, in the end, decided that the best thing for their careers was to leave in search of an easier route to a starting role.
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