A different story about Matias Suarez appears every day. Last Thursday he was on his way to CSKA Moscowfor the sum of €16 million, with €11 million going to Anderlecht and the rest being shared between several of his agents. On Friday, it was all off; medical tests had shown a knee problem (not too many details) and the CSKA representatives were not happy. On Saturday, Anderlecht announced that they were very happy as it was just like signing the winner of the ‘Golden Boot’. No news on Sunday but on Monday, there were rumours that CSKA had never intended to sign Suarez and had been trying to frighten AZ’s Rasmus Elm into signing for them, which he had done. Then today, one of his agents announces that plans are afoot to get Belgian nationality for Suarez, not so he can improve his chances of a transfer but so that he can play for the Belgian national team. Who knows? Tomorrow he may join Barcelona.
Ever since Suarez won the ‘Golden Boot’ for best player in the Jupiler League in the calendar year 2011, his various agents have been doing their best to line their pockets. He was certainly on the top of his game at the beginning of last season but that was after three years in the Anderlecht wilderness. Based on the theory that with six months in the first team and a good agent, you can get a move to a big club, Suarez was immediately linked to Arsenal. That was never going to happen as he’s never played for Argentina and he’s not a talented youngster – so no work permit.
Indeed, his wife Magali, who was on record as saying she had to wish to live in Eastern Europe, eventually accepted that a player’s life is not that long (he’s 24) and that the money on offer at CSKA (a salary of €3 million has been mentioned) could not be refused as Matias had become responsible for his mother, brother, his sister and some members of her family as well. One shouldn’t feel too sorry for him as he’s currently on €600,000 per year, but that’s possibly not enough when expectations are high.
So where are we now? Suarez is back in Argentina taking advice as to whether to have an operation on his knee. Anderlecht’s Herman Van Holsbeeck has suggested that this would be the sensible approach, while admitting he’s not a medical man. Anderlecht are – in reality – unhappy that they won’t get the cash and are still nervous about not qualifying the Champions League pools. Chelsea’s victory in Munich was a real body blow. It’s perhaps no coincidence that Cheikhou Kouyaté is being touted as an Arsenal target in today’s newspapers. Anderlecht run a tight ship and they’ve already told AZ that they will not be buying Niklas Moisander – at least not until the evening of August 29th when they’ll know their Champions League future.
There’s no doubt that Suarez is talented but it can’t be easy playing ‘the beautiful game’ when you have so many people depending on you, advice and pressure coming from all sides and clubs (buying and selling) using you as a pawn in the game.