Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Rodgers: We tried to keep Suarez

Luis Suarez has left Liverpool for Barcelona
Luis Suarez has left Liverpool for Barcelona

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers insists the club did everything they could to keep hold of Luis Suarez prior to his move to Barcelona.

The Catalan giants announced on Wednesday that the controversial Uruguayan was "100 per cent" a Barca player, although the striker was conspicuous by his absence at a press conference due to his four-month FIFA ban from all football-related activity after biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini's shoulder at the World Cup.

That incident, the third time in Suarez's career that he had been banned for biting, prompted many in the game to urge Rodgers to get rid of his star forward before the start of the season.

But the Northern Irishman is adamant that the 27-year-old's exit was more down to his desire to move to Catalonia than his antics in Brazil.

"We did everything we could as a club to keep Luis," he told the Liverpool Echo.

"He wanted to go and play in Spain, and unfortunately when a player no longer wants to play for you, we need as a club to look at it.

"It was his decision for him to go, he's gone to Barcelona, a club he wanted to play for and now we'll move on.

"I'm not sure if he would have gone regardless of the World Cup. But I never felt that towards the end of the season, and likewise he never said he would give us another year either. He had obviously signed a new deal so we had that.

"But I think we have had great service out of Luis and it's one that we can't worry too much about now, it's done, it's gone and our focus is here.

"There is a lot of work going on with the recruitment team in terms of getting in the right player and I am sure we can identify that.

"This club and many other clubs have shown over a period of time you move on, and believe me, it will be a really exciting season for us."

Suarez will be ineligible to play for Barca, who reportedly paid 94million euros (£75million) for his services - or even to train with his team-mates until the end of his ban - unless any appeal lodged with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is successful.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife galleries

More

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre