Belfast Telegraph

Luis Suarez ready for talks with Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers

By Ian Herbert

Luis Suarez will meet the Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers, at the club's Melwood training ground in the next two days for talks about his position, but he has not spoken to anyone at the club about his future and remains unrepentant about his actions this summer.


It is understood that the Uruguayan will undertake to knuckle down to training when he returns to Merseyside tomorrow, following Rodgers' decision to remove him from the first-team squad because of his lack of effort.

His compliance with Rodgers suggests he now knows that the prospects of a move have all but gone. But there is no resolution between manager and player, and Suarez's insistence that he has nothing to say sorry for creates a barrier to any rehabilitation. The situation, as he sees it, bears no similarity to when he apologised for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovich in April.

Rodgers, who will be asked about Suarez at his first press conference of the Premier League season today, said at the weekend that there needs to be "an apology to his team-mates and the club". Liverpool will require some type of contrition if Rodgers is to emerge strengthened from this episode. The choreography of the make-up between the two sides is a major challenge, with Liverpool needing the player fit and firing as they seek Champions League qualification. Suarez, who is serving a 10-game ban, cannot play for the side until late September.

Suarez's camp insisted as recently as Monday night that the 26-year-old's relationship with his manager had broken down completely. That seemed to have altered radically when he was quoted in the Uruguayan newspaper El Observador as saying: "For now, due to all of the people's affection [for me], I will be staying."

El Observador journalist Martin Chaquero, who spoke to Suarez, also claimed he had been told that the player will stay on Merseyside and could even sign a contract extension. "Luis Suarez confirms to me he will not leave Liverpool. The support of the fans has influenced his decision," Chaquero said. "Suarez sees it as likely that he'll sign a renewal [extension] to the contract that binds him to Liverpool." Chaquero also tweeted: "Sources close to Luis Suarez have confirmed his decision to stay at Liverpool."

But that was dismissed by Suarez's representatives, who said the player had not spoken to anyone to reach such a breakthrough or begin discussions about his contract.

The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA), which has been working to aid a resolution, believes a compromise could be reached through an updated clause in the player's contract, allowing him to leave next summer if Liverpool fail to qualify for the Champions League.

But permitting Suarez such a get-out immediately, having considered his actions so reprehensible, is unthinkable, and would bring severe loss of face, for Rodgers.

The PFA chief executive, Gordon Taylor, said that the union wanted to begin working with the Premier League to begin eradicating get-out clauses of the kind which convinced Suarez that he was entitled to leave for Arsenal when they bid a pound over £40m. "It's something we need to work on. It has caused no end of trouble," he told The Independent.

Such a new clause would heighten Liverpool's need for a top-four finish. The club's owner, John W Henry, said last week he believed it was a realistic aim. "I have high expectations. We had a very good second half of last season, [that is] the feeling within the club among the players ," he said. "I think we will surprise people this year."

Suarez scored in Uruguay's 4-2 friendly win over Japan.

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