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What Do You Think They're Smoking Over There at the Camp Nou?

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Last year, Liverpool fought off a £40M and a pound offer for Luis Suarez and took steps to ensure they wouldn't end up facing a similar headache this summer. Maybe Barcelona didn't get the memo.

Richard Heathcote

Last summer, Liverpool fought off an offer of £40M plus a pound for Luis Suarez from Arsenal, which is a touch over €50M and a pound. Over the winter, they signed the striker to a new, £200k a week deal that was reported to include a £70M release clause if—and only if—Liverpool failed to make it into the Champions League. Meanwhile, Suarez himself has denied having any kind of special release clause for if Real Madrid or Barcelona come in for him

Therefore the logic goes, at least if you're Mundo Deportivo or one of the English rumour mongers who have picked up on their speculation, Barcelona are totally signing Luis Suarez this summer for €65M. Or £52M in Liverpool's local currency. They also would consider being super generous and offering €30M and Alexis Sanchez. To which the only reasonable response is to chuckle and suggest maybe they should have made that sort of an offer last summer.

Last summer, when Arsenal were busy having their £40M and a pound offer laughed off by Liverpool's owner, whose public response was to ask what they were smoking at the Emirates, a Spanish club coming to the table with £52M would have had him. Last summer, with Liverpool languishing well out of the Champions League places and the player pushing hard for a move, Barcelona could have had him for that much. Or Real Madrid could have.

This summer Liverpool are in the Champions League. Suarez isn't pushing for an exit—yet at least, which is at least an improvement on last summer when his representatives started angling for a move in late May. And the club have signed Suarez to a new deal meant to put them in a better position to hold off interest in him if they're in the Champions League in exchange for giving the player a clear way out if they aren't and more money in the meantime.

If there ever was a knock-down price for Barcelona and Madrid—which Suarez has said there isn't—it was tied to a release clause that only came into play if Liverpool weren't in the Champions League. Without that release, after the year he's had, Liverpool could hold out for £150M if they wanted to sell. Meaning the only sensible response to any Barca fan excited by the prospect of signing Suarez for €65M is to ask just what they're smoking at the Camp Nou.