LIVERPOOL manager Brendan Rodgers is resigned to the prospect of fighting off persistent interest in Luis Suarez until he can lead the Merseyside club back into the Champions League – but he will be boosted by remarks from the Uruguayan last night.
In picking up the club's Player of the Month award, Suarez expressed his desire to stay.
"I am happy but the most important is we win matches," he said. "I try all the time to score and sometimes you are lucky and sometimes you are not. In these last two months I am on fire. I am a little lucky also."
"The team are playing well and the manager is a good manager and we are happy with him," he added. "In the next month we hope for a better position in the league."
While Rodgers is adamant there is no prospect of Suarez moving on in January, he is pragmatic enough to realise the club must prove they can satisfy the ambitions of one of the world's finest talents to keep him in the longer term.
While Liverpool preach the merits of long-term planning, they cannot afford to allow key players to become disillusioned.
Rodgers will have transfer funds in January, but he realises Champions League clubs now see Liverpool's most valuable players as potential recruits.
Asked if the interest in Suarez was inevitable, Rodgers said: "Yes, it's where we're at. But I'll always fight to protect the club and its assets.
"It's very clear we're not interested in selling our best players so it's straightforward. There will be no bidding war (for Suarez). He's staying here.
"If we lose Luis, then we will have no strikers so he's certainly not someone we want to sell or move on. We want to add to our squad, not take people out of it, especially world-class players." (© Daily Telegraph, London)