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River Plate, Dortmund, Nacional And Now MLS: Where Will Luis Suárez Go?

It looked like Nacional, but MLS has suddenly emerged as the front runner.

This summer's Luis Suárez transfer saga has been all over the place, and reports now place the Uruguayan in MLS.

After two seasons at Atlético Madrid, Suárez became a free agent July 1 and it was time to look for a new club. Many suggested that a move back to South America would be ideal for the striker after a 16-year career abroad. However, with Qatar around the corner, Suárez preferred to remain in Europe to prepare for his last World Cup.

“My priority is to stay in Europe,” he said.

Having Suárez back in South America would be nostalgic and fun to watch, but let’s face it, there’s probably loads of options for the legendary striker to assess. Or are there?

Two months after becoming a free agent, no team in Europe has met El Pistolero’s demands.

After rumors of a potential reunion with Steven Gerrard and Philippe Coutinho at Aston Villa in June, suitors for the 35-year-old have become scarce and South America has come knocking at his door.

No Copa Libertadores? No River Plate

In early July, we saw reports that the former Barcelona man was keen on a move to River Plate. Even after declaring his wish to remain in Europe, Millonarios insisted the striker was actually considering signing.

But it was later revealed by Suárez himself that, following River’s Copa Libertadores exit, the possibility of him joining the club was gone.

“I was very excited with the possibility of going to River to fight for Copa Libertadores. It was a dream that I had to win a cup in South America” he said to Ovación. “But now that River has been eliminated that possibility is gone.”

So, with no convincing offers from any European team and River Plate out of the picture (and Libertadores), there was only one place for Suárez to go.

Back to Nacional?

Following rumors of a move to Argentina, Nacional fans took it upon themselves to seduce Suárez on social media. There was no real interest from Nacional to make an effort to sign the striker, and that surprised him.

“I am surprised that the people of Nacional didn’t even call me to find out my situation,” the Uruguayan said earlier this month.

This quote quickly spread around social media. Nacional fans created the #SuárezANacional hashtag that took over Twitter in hopes of convincing the team’s board and Suárez to negotiate.

And it worked! After the marvelous social media campaign orchestrated by the fans, both sides began negotiations to bring the legendary striker back home.

Suárez’s brother, Paolo, even tweeted out an edited picture of the striker wearing Nacional’s home kit.

The buzz and excitement ahead of his move back to the club was so big that the #SuárezANacional movement moved from social media to the stadium. In Nacional’s home game against Cerrito last Thursday, close to 20,000 fans wore Luis Suárez masks as their final call to action.

However, following news of Sébastien Haller's absence from Borussia Dortmund's squad over the coming months, there were rumours of Suárez offering himself as a temporary replacement.

But the rumour was hard to believe considering Dortmund's reputation for signing younger players and with Nacional hovering.

When everything seemed to be finalized for the striker to go back to his boyhood club, a call from Suárez earlier this week asking for more time stalled negotiations.

“Why?” you might ask.

MLS is Hard to Turn Down

When all seemed finished, the negotiations with Nacional were placed on hold after an MLS club became interested in the striker.

After what seemed like a strong link to LAFC, interest from New York City FC and Nashville SC may have shut down the possibility of Suárez playing alongside newly signed stars Gareth Bale and Giorgio Chiellini.

What is the Best Choice Ahead of the World Cup?

In terms of money, a move to the United States would land the striker a salary greater than what he's being offered in South America.

In terms of preparing for the World Cup, the league would be perfect for a player like Suárez. In recent years, we’ve seen players like Zlatan Ibrahimović, Chicharito and Carlos Vela arrive from Europe and put up good numbers. Gareth Bale, who also took the World Cup as a factor before choosing his next destination, found MLS to be the perfect place to do so.

However, after all the effort and love Nacional fans gave Suárez these last couple weeks, a transfer to MLS would be heartbreaking for the tricolores and everyone who loves a fairytale ending.

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