London - Liverpool recognise it will be hard to hold on to Luis Suarez.Indeed, it is understood the club will reluctantly be ready to sell Suarez if the price is right. They are bracing for a bid, which is why they were so quick to snap up Rickie Lambert.
Liverpool had inserted a £100-million buy-out clause in England slayer Suarez’s contract when he signed a new £220 000-a-week deal six months ago.
That is how much the club want in the knowledge that both Real Madrid and Barcelona will move in for the Uruguayan international after the World Cup finals.
But the £100-million clause only applies to rival Premier League clubs.
A lesser fee of £70 million would be enough to trigger a move abroad. However, with both Barça and Madrid wanting Suarez, Liverpool still think they can get £100 million in a straight auction between the La Liga rivals.
Barça have put up Chile striker Alexis Sanchez as part of a £40-million-plus-player deal. However, given the involvement of multiple agents, straight swops rarely happen.
Madrid have a wider range of players of on offer, but Liverpool’s astute manager Brendan Rodgers won’t have players foisted upon him.
* Tottenham have turned their attentions to signing Ivory Coast striker Wilfried Bony from Swansea.
Spurs wanted to sign Romalu Lukaku, but Chelsea have vetoed their London rivals signing the Belgian hitman either permanently or on loan.
Liverpool are keeping tabs on the situation.
* Talks between FA spin doctors and sponsors are ongoing over the best time to announce the international retirements of Steven Gerrard, and Frank Lampard on the basis of whether the best coverage would come before or after the dead rubber against Costa Rica .
Spain’s Xabi Alonso - the ex-Liverpool midfield maestro - announced his international retirement with the minimum of fuss.
* Chelsea believe they will finally land £32-million Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid this week when dethroned world champions Spain fly home.
Lukaku has been offered in return on loan as goalkeeper Thiabut Courtois goes back to his parent club, but it is understood Lukaku wants a permanent move.
Meanwhile, West Ham, Newcastle and QPR are all interested in signing Chelsea keeper Petr Cech.
* Wayne Rooney faces a showdown with Louis van Gaal when his Manchester United pre-season starts.
Rooney has shown with England he doesn’t like playing in a wide role.
But new United boss Van Gaal with his set 4-3-3 system sees Robin van Persie as his No 9 and captain.
The problem that Dutch coach Van Gaal inherits is that, apart from PSG, no club in England or Europe has shown much interest in signing Rooney, given the £25-million fee United would want, or the £300 000 a week wages the player is currently on.