Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Reds 'don't intend to sell Suarez'

Luis Suarez is eager to play Champions League football

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre has reiterated the club's determination to keep striker Luis Suarez.

The Reds have rejected bids of £30million and £40m plus £1 from Arsenal, while the wantaway forward has also been linked with Real Madrid.

Suarez has made clear in a series of interviews since the end of last season that he wants to leave Anfield, but the Merseysiders are not willing to sell the controversial Uruguay international.

Ayre, speaking at a press conference in Bangkok during the club's pre-season tour, told reporters: "The situation with Luis Suarez remains the same. It's never been our intention to sell Luis.

"As has been widely reported in the media we've received two separate offers from Arsenal for the player and we've rejected those offers.

"Luis remains a Liverpool player and is here with us in Thailand as part of our squad."

Suarez was allowed an extended summer break after his involvement in the Confederations Cup with Uruguay but joined the Liverpool squad in Australia earlier this week.

He appeared as a substitute in Wednesday's game against Melbourne Victory and has been training ahead of the next pre-season fixture against Thailand on Sunday.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes Suarez, 26, would be making a mistake by moving to Arsenal.

Rodgers, quoted in several newspapers, said: "I know what we are trying to build and grow, so why would you swap Liverpool to go to Arsenal?

"I am not sure that it adds up, to be honest. Arsenal has a wonderful history in its own right but Liverpool is one of the biggest clubs in the world.

"Okay, we might not be in the Champions League and haven't been for a while now but our competitors have grown around us and we have to step up to the challenge now.

"Would it be a mistake for Luis to leave? 100 per cent. The team was built around Luis last season. It is difficult for Luis, I understand that. If a team wants you, it can be difficult."

Liverpool have been followed by big crowds throughout their pre-season trip to Indonesia and Australia, and Thailand this week looks to be no different.

Rodgers hopes that is something that will help get the message home.

He said: "I am sure Luis will have seen the sheer size and status of the club, so we'll just see how it goes. It is not something we want to run on too long."

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