Liverpool are in a fight to keep Suarez, admits worried boss Rodgers
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has admitted he faces a fight to keep Luis Suarez.
Though Rodgers says Liverpool have gone the extra mile to support the controversial Uruguay star, he is realistic enough to know that the situation could alter if Suarez decides he no longer wants to stay at Anfield.
When Rodgers took over last summer, one of the first tasks with which he was confronted was fending off firm interest from Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain. Suarez signed a new contract, which runs until 2017, but his situation remains complex.
He ended last season in disgrace, having been banned for 10 matches for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic. He still has six games to serve, and given the controversy that engulfed him, clubs will be looking to exploit any vulnerability.
Juventus retain an interest, so do Atletico Madrid. He has also been linked with Bayern Munich.
‘I don’t have any doubts that bids will come because he’s up there with the very best,’ said Rodgers.
‘There’s a small percentage of players who are world class. He’s in that bracket so I don’t think it will be too dissimilar to when I first came in last summer. People will want to take him.
‘But he was committed to staying and working with the club. He’s very happy here. He had circumstances that made it extremely difficult for him but I’ve seen nothing to make me think otherwise.
‘I’ve been in contact with his agent (Pere Guardiola) so I think he needs to go away, play in the Confederations Cup with Uruguay, have a period of reflection and come back raring to go to help us have a good season.’
Rodgers insists Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group have been ‘absolutely unequivocal’ in their determination to hang on to the 26-year-old.
The only thing that might change that is Liverpool receiving an astronomical offer.
‘I know we as a club and I as a manager have supported him, told him when he’s been right and when he’s been wrong,’ said Rodgers. ‘The supporters show their passion for him relentlessly, so as a club I don’t think we can do any more.
‘We have supported him when he’s been in turmoil, when he’s had setbacks and when there have been traumas over the last couple of years. We’re doing everything to keep him and all the players content and in the main, I think they are.’
Suarez was exceptional last season and finished runner-up to Robin van Persie in the race for the Golden Boot. ‘I think we all recognise how integral he is,’ added Rodgers.
‘I had a meeting with the owners when they came over and talked about lots of things, and that was one of them. Every player has their price but there’s certainly no pressure for the club to sell him.
‘We’re trying to build that bit of quality so he’s not for sale.’