Brendan Rodgers strikes me as the sort of fella who'd struggle with reading a coloring book, so it comes as little shock to hear him tell the assembled press while on tour in Jakarta (don't ask him to point it out on a map, since he'd invariably ask where outer space is) that, in spite of a £40 million release clause in Luis Suarez's contract, he would only consider selling Suarez if a club came to the table with a £55 million bid. That valuation, as you might know, being the same as his national teammate and recently-transferred Edinson Cavani. And even if they received that amount from a prospective buyer, Rodgers states he still would find it difficult to sell him:
"Obviously for a player of his quality, when you consider that Cavani has gone for £55m you know... Luis is up there in that bracket of top talent.
"Obviously it was an offer we didn't deem worthy of the talent and even if they came back with that kind of amount (£55m) there's no guarantee he would be sold even for that because we are trying to build something here."
Well, using his favorite word, obviously Brendan Rodgers is a rock-chewing cave monster who's still afraid to come out of his dwelling for fear the dinosaurs can smell his freshly-made skunk hide tank top.
Suarez's advisers have practically lost consciousness trying to tell everyone that the clause exists and that if a buyer bids that amount that Liverpool has to sell the player, assuming the player can come to terms with the buying club. Generally-speaking, this is what a buyout clause is. Let's note: this is not a "Hey We Received A Bid For £40 Million Dollars Just To Let You Know So Move Along There's Nothing To See Here, Luis" clause. This is a buyout clause. For reference on how other clubs understand buyout clauses, let's listen in to what Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis had to say this past February regarding Edinson Cavani's buyout clause:
"The clause of €63 million? No-one has paid it.
"Last summer I refused €55m and Real Madrid didn't even get to 50. "If someone meets it then there is nothing I can do, but I would do everything to convince the player to stay because it takes an agreement with him too.
Further, Rodgers can put any valuation he wants on Suarez right now. He's not really all that wrong in saying he's worth more than his buyout clause; I would argue, for example, that Lionel Messi is worth more than his €250 million buyout clause from a commercial standpoint alone. However, he and the club can't change up wording in a contract based upon the current market conditions. He should know; one of the very first things Rodgers did at Liverpool was resign Suarez to his current contract.
Listen, I get it. Most Arsenal fans get it, actually. It's hard to lose a player of his talent, no matter your current situation and vapid competitive schedule outside of the league. Rodgers is trying to establish Liverpool as a top-four club and rightfully so; a club of their stature, success and lengthy history shouldn't be struggling to gain a spot in the Europa League, let alone Champions League. And this is where I think (hope?) Rodgers gets it, as well.
In Suarez's time at Liverpool, he's played in one European competition - the Europa League, last season - and that was due simply to winning the
FA Cup Carling Cup the season before ; they've finished 6th, 8th and 7th in his three seasons at the club. The league isn't getting weaker and Liverpool isn't exactly flush with the sort of valuable, veteran assets that can be flipped into multiple players that can start the rebuilding process.
Turning Suarez into cash that can help, say, persuade your long sought-after targets from joining other clubs when the lack of European competitions proves to be a stumbling block. Again, I firmly believe Rodgers knows this. Why he's choosing to play hardball in a way that makes him come off as a moron is beyond me.
Update (12:36pm CDT): Earlier this morning, I referred to Brendan Rodgers the post as ..."a rock-chewing cave monster who's still afraid to come out of his dwelling for fear the dinosaurs can smell his freshly-made skunk hide tank top." It turns out, he is neither a cave monster or afraid of dinosaurs. I received an email confirmation from an Everton intern confirming this to be true, and I apologize for the error.
Update (12:37pm CDT): Everything else in this post is 100% accurate and is not up for debate or discussion. Because I am always right.