Belfast Telegraph

Luis Suarez transfer shock: Liverpool insist striker will stay at Anfield

By Simon Rice

Liverpool have moved to calm talk of a summer exit for star striker Luis Suarez.


The club's leading scorer has ignited rumours that he could leave Anfield after he gave an interview in Uruguay in which he said he would "welcome" offers from "elite" clubs.

Yet managing director Ian Ayre has suggested the comments got "lost in translation" and he hopes Suarez "will see his contract through".

Speaking to BBC Radio Five Live this morning, following the publication of Suarez's interview, Ayre said: "You can read into the comments - it was given in his native language so I think maybe it was a bit lost in translation.

"We've been consistent with Luis. Last summer he signed a new four-year contract and we have no desire to sell Luis. He is a fantastic player and a great contributor to our team.

"We've been very honest with him and he's been very honest with us.

"There is always going to be instances, particularly leading up to the summer (transfer) window, when people are quoted or asked these questions."

In the interview, Suarez makes clear he is "very happy" at Anfield, a line he has been happy to express in recent months. And Ayre expects the 26-year-old to remain a Liverpool player beyond this summer and the next.

"We are very pleased to have Luis and long may that continue," he said.

"He also says in the same interview that he feels he is in an elite team at Liverpool.

"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."

Suarez, who joined Liverpool from Ajax, is the leading goalscorer in the Premier League this season with 22. In the interview he appeared to hint at a desire to play at the highest level, and in turn the Champions League. Liverpool are currently nine points adrift of the top four with Europa League qualification a more realistic ambition for the Reds.

"I am very happy at Liverpool but you never know in football," Suarez is quoted as saying.

"A player's ambition is always there, the ambition of wanting to play in elite teams is always there.

"I'm in a world-class team, an elite team like Liverpool. We have to realise we have a new manager who is imposing a philosophy and a way of playing that the players are adapting to as best we can. We hope it will bear fruit next year.

"If another team comes around with more prospects of competing in international club competition games, which is willing to have me, they are welcome. We would talk to the club. We would see if I want to go, if I don't want to go."

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