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Liverpool to make final move for Ajax star Luis Suarez as summer switch becomes more likely option

EXCLUSIVE
By Greg Stobart | Northern Correspondent

Liverpool will make a final attempt to sign Ajax star Luis Suarez before the Saturday deadline imposed by the Dutch club as it becomes increasingly likely they will wait until the summer to bring the striker to Anfield.

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Ajax continue to ask for £30 million for the Uruguayan and have accused the Reds of lacking respect after a £12.7m bid was rejected. It is believed it will take at least £21m for the Amsterdam club to consider selling Suarez, despite the 24-year-old's clear desire to complete the move.

Frank de Boer, the Ajax manager, said on Wednesday that Liverpool have until Saturday to reach an agreement to sign the World Cup star, adding that the Reds face the prospect of a£4.3m daily increase on his transfer value.

Liverpool are preparing their take-it-or-leave-it offer amidst reports from Holland that Suarez is unhappy with Ajax, whom he feels are "pricing him out of a deal". Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf said on Thursday that the player has demanded a move to Merseyside and feels "no longer motivated" to play for his current club.

Insiders at Liverpool now believe it is increasingly likely that the club may not sign Suarez until the summer, with owners Fenway Sports Group refusing to pay inflated fees to buy players in the January window.

The club's new American owners have been shocked by Ajax's massive valuation and know he will be available for a far more reasonable fee if they wait until the end of the season.

Ajax are resigned to Suarez's departure but have always hoped their talisman will stay at the club in the summer, when they will have time to identify and recruit a long-term replacement.

Suarez is believed to be frustrated with the situation and was expected to meet Rik van den Boog, the club’s general director, after he returned from business in South Africa on Wednesday evening.

Ex-Dutch international de Boer admits the former Groningen man has declared his interest in a switch to the Premier League club, but has warned Liverpool they must now meet Ajax's demands if they want to land their number one target.

“This situation has been going on long enough,” de Boer said on Wednesday. “We don't want to lose him. Liverpool know what they have to pay and we are sticking to our guns.

“We want to know where we stand by January 29, after that nothing more will happen.

“He thinks Liverpool are a good club, but he understands our decision to hold on to him.”

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish wants to bolster his squad this month after the club's poor start to the season, with a place in European competition for next season being the short-term target.

Damien Comolli, the club's director of football strategy, and Dalglish believe Suarez is the man to add goals, creativity and energy to the Reds' forward line in support of Fernando Torres.

Suarez scored 110 goals in 154 games for the Dutch giants and netted a stunning 49 times last season but is now keen to link up with the Spanish-speaking contingent at Anfield.

His relationship with the Ajax hierarchy has deteriorated this season and it is understood that he was unhappy that the club failed to appeal against his seven-match ban incurred by the Dutch Football Federation in late November for biting PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal.



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