After claiming he was persecuted by the English media, Luis Suarez has confirmed he wants to leave Liverpool.

The talented yet controversial Uruguay striker has been linked with a multi-million pound move to Spanish giants, Real Madrid, and has refused to rule out a move to the Bernabeu.

However, it looks as if he has finally decided to leave his club, and blames the English media for his reasons. Liverpool, only a short amount of time before, had stated that the striker wasn't for sale and that he was expected to honour the rest of his contract.

The club said: "Luis Suarez is not for sale - neither Luis or his representatives have communicated these feelings directly to Liverpool Football Club. The club remains supportive of Luis and expects him to honour his contract."

However, Suarez commented: "My reason for leaving is not the money. If it were money I would have left already. My main reason is for my family and my image. That's my priority now. It's a difficult moment for me. The coach and my colleagues know that they didn't treat me well here. I don't feel comfortable here anymore. They know it. So I think it's understandable that I leave."

The Uruguayan striker was speaking at his country's press conference before their friendly with France in Montevideo on June 5. He has had a turbulent career, not just at Liverpool but at his former club, Ajax.

He was banned by the Dutch club for a half-time incident with Albert Luque. He was also given a seven-match ban by the Dutch FA after another biting incident during 2009/10 Eredivisie season.

It was from Ajax that he moved, to Liverpool in a £22.7m deal during 2011. And it appeared that the controversy followed him to Merseyside too.

He scored 23 goals in 33 games in the most recent for Liverpool, but had missed the last two games of last season due to the biting incident with Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic. He was given a ten-match ban, so will consequently miss the first eight games of next season too. If he's still at Liverpool then, of course.

Previous to that, he was banned for eight matches for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra, and fined £40,000.

However, despite the productive goalscoring record that Suarez has had throughout his career, it is clear that he has remained unsettled, and remains a controversial figure. After this latest outburst, could it really be the end for Suarez?

Real Madrid's club president Florentino Perez has revealed his club's intent, after the speculation that Madrid were poised to put in a bid for the striker. He said: "Suarez is a great player, and I'm sure all the clubs in the world want him. I like him, but so do a lot of others."

It remains without question that Liverpool will do their utmost to keep him. But they are also in need of transfer funds, and it's without a doubt that the sale of Suarez would generate a suitable amount to bring in players of the quality that Rodgers will have been searching for.

If Suarez does leave, will Liverpool be affected? Yes, of course they will.

He is by far their most prolific goalscorer, and has carried Liverpool single-handedly this season with his goals, when other key players haven't performed well. He is a versatile player, and can easily score with his left or right foot, and is clinical with his head - so it is clear why many clubs will step up their attempts to secure his services.

However, it seems inevitable at this stage that he will be leaving. So, who can come into his place?

England striker Daniel Sturridge is a very capable replacement, scoring a few goals while Suarez was banned at the end of last season. However, he will miss some of Liverpool's pre-season friendlies due to a serious injury picked up whilst playing for England in their friendly against the Republic of Ireland.

So it seems likely that they will have to spend money to gain a new prolific striker.

If Suarez does leave, Liverpool will gain a substantial amount of money, which they could use to secure the services of other players. However, they are sure to have large expectations to look up to. After all, they would be replacing Suarez.

And English football is sure to be a different thing without him.

 

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