Is an international break really an international break if there aren't stories about superstar players demanding new contracts? While the best players in the world travel far and wide to represent their countries, the mega agents of the game get to work in the media and in the boardroom, planting stories in the press and placing pressure on club presidents and chairmen to renegotiate contracts for their prized assets — and this international break is no different.
According to reports in Catalunya, as FC Barcelona look to quickly ink their superstar "MSN" trident to a trio of new deals, Luis Suarez' agent, Pere Guardiola, is asking that his client is fairly reimbursed for his efforts over the past two seasons. The demand in these negotiations is rather simple — and logical — Suarez would like to earn the same amount of money as Neymar, €16 million net.
At face value, the request seems rather reasonable. Suarez has been absolutely exceptional since signing for the club and his goals have helped the Blaugrana secure a plethora of trophies, including their fifth UEFA Champions League title. If the question is about what Suarez is worth to this squad today, I would sign the deal right here and now. However, if this is a long-term deal — and the report from Diario Sport suggests that the contract would be extended to 2020, at a minimum — then perhaps the club would be better off taking a little longer to consider.
Suarez is going to score a lot of goals this season, and chances are that he will do the same next season. But can we guarantee that he will be worth such a huge salary in 2020 when he's turned 33?
I have no doubt that Suarez will pen an extension and be granted the raise he has earned, but if you're reading Bartomeu, maybe make this deal a little more incentive-driven, please?