Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Rodgers plans Suarez talks

Brendan Rodgers, pictured, insists that Luis Suarez is not for sale

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez is set to make his first appearance for the club since hinting he wanted to leave Anfield with manager Brendan Rodgers insisting his stance over the Uruguayan has not altered.

The 26-year-old flew to Melbourne from his homeland on Sunday to join up with the rest of the squad for a historic first game in Australia on Wednesday.

Suarez, who while on international duty at the Confederations Cup suggested he would be interested in a move to Real Madrid, is set to play in that match against Melbourne Victory.

Liverpool have already turned down a bid of £30million from Arsenal this summer and although Rodgers said he was worth far more than that he stressed that should not be interpreted as saying they were prepared to sell.

"There's been a lot of speculation over the course of the close season but the reality is that he's a player who is very much valued at Liverpool," he said.

"And unless there's any sort of offer that comes in that's anywhere near his value, there's nothing to consider. We haven't had that."

Asked what that value was, Rodgers replied: "I didn't say we would sell him. I said that every player has a value and a worth. Doesn't mean you've got to sell them."

Rodgers was asked whether he expected Suarez to still be with them for the start of the new season, and replied: "Yes, very much so."

Rodgers plans further talks with the striker over the coming weeks, having been in regular contact over the summer, as Liverpool's tour heads to Thailand before returning to Anfield for Steven Gerrard's testimonial and then taking in games against Valerenga in Norway and Celtic in Dublin.

"As we've always been as a club, I'm quite relaxed about it. He's an integral part of our squad," Rodgers told reporters at a press conference on their arrival in Melbourne.

"Him and I have been in regular communication throughout the summer.

"We'll chat at some stage, like I do with all the players.

"But he's back, he's in great spirits. He's obviously an integral part of the group - you could see his closeness with his team-mates last night when they were all seeing him for the first time in a number of weeks.

"He joined training with all the other players and over the course of the next few weeks we'll communicate."

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