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Liverpool Abandon Alexis Chase

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Liverpool fans hoping to see the club replace Luis Suarez with Alexis Sanchez have some bad news today, but a confirmed £75M payday for the wantaway Uruguayan should help to ease the pain.

Jeff Gross

According to sources with ties to the club, Liverpool have all but given up on their attempts to convince Barcelona's Alexis Sanchez to choose Anfield over Arsenal or Juventus. This comes as a major blow in their attempts to land Luis Suarez' replacement when he departs for Barcelona rather than having to enter the transfer market with clubs knowing Brendan Rodgers' side is cash rich and striker poor.

The appeal of Alexis was his flexibility as much as his talent. Daniel Sturridge is a worthy number one striker, but he's also prone to picking up minor injuries, and Liverpool will need a player who can replace him without much of a drop off. However, any player good enough to do that won't be happy to sit on the bench, forcing Rodgers to go with the 4-4-2 diamond when both are fit as he did much of last season with Suarez and Sturridge.

Sanchez would have brought the positional flexibility to fill in for Sturridge as a solo striker or to play alongside him in a two-striker system. But he also could as easily play the wing in the 4-3-3, which Rodgers has suggested is his preferred system. It made him the perfect signing—second to Sturridge on the striker depth chart and first on the wing. Even Suarez wasn't capable of doing that, leading to the embrace of the diamond last season.

With Sanchez off the table, Liverpool now have the difficult task of finding a near world class player as comfortable filling in for Sturridge as he is playing alongside him or setting up wide. Finding a player good enough to do two of those things for a club looking to challenge for the league and convince in their Champions League return would be one thing. Finding a player who can do all three will be far more difficult.

The good news, though, is that along with news that Liverpool are on the verge of entirely abandoning the Alexis Sanchez chase is confirmation that they will in fact be receiving £75M for Suarez. That's seventy-five million in Pounds, not Euros or Pesos or Denarii. So that should help. Though Alexis and a smaller pile of cash seems as though it would have been rather more helpful.