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Thursday 17 April 2014

Liverpool will break bank to keep Suarez at Anfield

Luis Suarez of Liverpool celebrates scoring their fourth goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at White Hart Lane on December 15
Luis Suarez of Liverpool celebrates scoring their fourth goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at White Hart Lane on December 15

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre has opened talks with Luis Suarez's representatives to discuss the most lucrative contract in Anfield history.

Ayre flew to Barcelona yesterday for a meeting scheduled with Suarez's agent Pere Guardiola, the first significant move in trying to tie the 26-year-old to an improved long-term deal thought to be worth more than £130,000 a week.

Suarez's current contract expires in the summer of 2016 and Liverpool know they face a battle to keep hold of the Uruguayan.

After the trauma of last summer, when Suarez made it clear that he wanted to leave amid interest from Arsenal, he is settled again on Merseyside and Liverpool will hope to take advantage of the positive vibes around him and the club.

Relations between Liverpool and Guardiola were strained at times last summer but have generally been cordial. However, the club know that Suarez (right) craves Champions League football.

The demolition of Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday significantly enhanced Liverpool's hopes of finishing in the top four.

Suarez was made captain for the game and is likely to retain the honour over the Christmas period with Steven Gerrard absent through injury.

Vice-captain Daniel Agger is out of the Reds' first team and is facing an uncertain future, so Suarez has been given the added responsibility, which the Anfield board hope will cement his future.

Realistically, Suarez may wish to wait to see if Liverpool can consolidate the excellent first half to their Premier League campaign, particularly as they have key games against Manchester City at the Etihad and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on the horizon.

Should the Merseyside club build a lead over their rivals for the Champions League positions in the new year, Liverpool will be confident that Suarez will extend his stay with the club.

Meanwhile, manager Brendan Rodgers has called up Academy-based teenagers Jordan Rossiter and Brad Smith to his first-team squad for the Christmas period. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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