Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Reds determined to keep hold of Suarez

Ian Ayre is confident Liverpool can keep Luis Suarez, pictured, on Merseyside

Liverpool may lose a Uruguay international this summer but they are determined it will not be star striker Luis Suarez.

Reds managing director Ian Ayre went on the defensive after Suarez suggested in an interview in his homeland that he would listen to offers from a Champions League club. Ayre suggested the comments may have been lost in translation and reiterated their intention to keep the 26-year-old at Anfield.

"There is always going to be instances, particularly leading up to the summer (transfer) window, when people are quoted or asked these questions," said the managing director. "We've been consistent with Luis. Last summer he signed a new four-year contract and we have no desire to sell Luis."

The same, however, may not be true for compatriot Sebastian Coates, who has expressed his dissatisfaction about a lack of playing time under manager Brendan Rodgers. There is no doubt Liverpool would be happier if it transpired the centre-back was the one who departed for pastures new in the summer and not the Premier League's leading goalscorer.

Whether that option is available to them remains to be seen but it is more than likely their resolve will be tested in relation to Suarez, although Ayre is confident they can keep him out of the clutches of Europe's top clubs.

He added: "We've been very honest with him and he's been very honest with us. Every player is going to get approached by clubs because that is the nature of the game.

"Every player has a choice - that's part of the game. He has a four-year contract with us and we hope he will see that through.

"He is a fantastic player and a great contributor to our team. We are very pleased to have Luis and long may that continue."

Suarez has repeatedly stressed he is happy at Anfield, and did so in his latest interview while on World Cup qualifier duty for matches against Paraguay and Chile. It is an assertion supported by international and club team-mate Coates, who is less happy about his stay on Merseyside.

"Luis is a star, the club identifies with him and he is very happy, the city also loves him," the defender told Uruguayan newspaper El Observador. "He is doing everything right and that's why people idolise him."

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