Belfast Telegraph

Liverpool set to spend on Ajax star Suarez

Liverpool chairman Tom Werner has said the club's owners are prepared to provide money for big-name signings if it benefits the long-term future of the team.

Since their £300million purchase in October there has been little suggestion from principal owner John Henry and Werner that substantial investment would be available for squad rebuilding.

And while Werner admits they are looking for greater value in terms of the players they sign, that does not preclude a significant outlay on the right individual.

That will come as welcome news to fans and manager Kenny Dalglish, who is looking to bolster the squad he inherited from Roy Hodgson nearly a fortnight ago.

It is a particularly timely pronouncement considering Ajax coach Frank de Boer has stressed it will take “an absurd amount” for him to part with Liverpool's number-one target Luis Suarez.

Valuations of the Uruguay international stretch from £18million to £25million and it remains to be seen whether Fenway Sports Group, the subsidiary of New England Sports Ventures — owners of the Boston Red Sox baseball franchise and who originally bought the club — are prepared to go that far.

But Werner said taking a wide look at the economics of transfers did not preclude making major signings.

Asked if Liverpool could still secure marquee signings like the £22million spent on Fernando Torres in the summer of 2007 Werner replied: “Yes. Look at our history. The Boston Red Sox have the second-highest wages in baseball and we have been as successful, if not more, than the New York Yankees.

“We are coming from a market that is somewhere like Liverpool, we are not New York or London, and we have been successful in generating revenues which we have ploughed back into an excellent team.

“We will be driven by value but we certainly have the resources to have some targets.

“We are in this for the long-term and every pound that we make will strengthen the club.

“We do have great resources. We have a very high wage bill and it shouldn't be such that we are 12th in the league right now.

“I don't want to get the wage bill down, I want it to increase and we have the resources to do that — I just think we ought to be performing at a better level.

“I expect us to move forward and improve our position.

“But we are not going to be making decisions which do not improve the fortunes of the club long-term. There have been some decisions made which have set the club back and our hope is we will have some announcement to make but there is nothing I can say today.”

Werner was keen to stress the long-term vision FSG have for Liverpool involves increasing income — with help from either a new or revamped stadium — in order to be able to invest in the club.

“Everyone knows our long-term goals are to restore the lustre to the club and we want to honour our great history by winning more trophies,” added Werner.

“In the short term we just want to see some progress and hopefully under Kenny our fortunes will improve. I feel the long-term is bright.”

It seems plenty of money will be required to lure Suarez away from Ajax after De Boer's latest comments.

“We know how important Luis is for Ajax. Only when an absurd amount is on the table should we let him go,” he said. “I don't think he will leave at any cost.”

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph