Zach Slaton, Forbes’ soccer statistician, takes us through the reasons why Liverpool and Tottenham are unwilling to sell Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale, respectively, despite the exorbitant prices being tied to their names, and the players’ insistence on leaving. While Liverpool seems to be holding out for $77 million-plus for its controversial striker, Tottenham is reportedly asking Real Madrid for a whopping $133.6 million for Bale, and neither club looks like budging. In fact, they both seem willing to let their star players rot on the bench if they don’t get what they want.
Slaton points out that they are simply trying to take the power out of players’ hands when it comes to contract negotiations. That means, if the clubs do let them leave, they want to ensure they’re getting more than enough money to sign adequate reinforcements, because they need to be in the running for a UEFA Champions League berth at the end of the season.
Because of its guaranteed revenue, the Champions League is the most important competition for any club to qualify for, and Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool are in all likelihood vying for the fourth and final slot in England. And these clubs know that if they are to continue letting their top players go when they don’t qualify, the gap between the rich and moderately rich within the EPL will simply continue to grow. And neither of them can afford that reality.