independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

We have no intention of selling Luis Suarez, insists Liverpool chief

John Aldridge accuses striker of disloyalty

Liverpool's Luis Suarez in Thailand this week
Liverpool's Luis Suarez in Thailand this week

LIVERPOOL managing director Ian Ayre has reiterated the club's determination to keep striker Luis Suarez as Reds legend John Aldridge accused him of disloyalty.

The Reds have rejected bids of £30million and £40m plus £1 from Arsenal, while the wantaway forward has also been linked with Real Madrid.

Suarez has made clear in a series of interviews since the end of last season that he wants to leave Anfield, but the Merseysiders are not willing to sell the controversial Uruguay international.

Ayre, speaking at a press conference in Bangkok during the club's pre-season tour, said: "The situation with Luis Suarez remains the same. It's never been our intention to sell Luis.

"As has been widely reported in the media we've received two separate offers from Arsenal for the player and we've rejected those offers.

"Luis remains a Liverpool player and is here with us in Thailand as part of our squad."

Former Ireland international John Aldridge says Suarez is being disloyal by trying to engineer a move.

Liverpool have supported Suarez throughout a number of controversial incidents throughout his Anfield career, not least his infamous race row with Patrice Evra in 2011-12.

He was awarded a new contract last summer and was also given some backing after biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in April, an offence for which he still has six games of a 10-game ban to serve.

Aldridge told the Liverpool Echo: "There's a massive lack of loyalty there and especially the way Liverpool have stuck by Luis.

"Not everything's all about money. It's different with Luis Suarez because of the positions he's put Liverpool in over the last couple of years and they've stuck by him.

"The fans have been loyal, the manager's been loyal, his comrades have been loyal, and the hierarchy have been loyal to him.

"They've done everything in the powers possible to back him up and he's basically put a custard pie in everyone's face."

Suarez was allowed an extended summer break after his involvement in the Confederations Cup with Uruguay but joined the Liverpool squad in Australia earlier this week.

He appeared as a substitute in Wednesday's game against Melbourne Victory and has been training ahead of the next pre-season fixture against Thailand on Sunday.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes Suarez, 26, would be making a mistake by moving to Arsenal.

Rodgers said: "I know what we are trying to build and grow, so why would you swap Liverpool to go to Arsenal?

"I am not sure that it adds up, to be honest. Arsenal has a wonderful history in its own right but Liverpool is one of the biggest clubs in the world.

"Okay, we might not be in the Champions League and haven't been for a while now but our competitors have grown around us and we have to step up to the challenge now.

"Would it be a mistake for Luis to leave? 100 per cent. The team was built around Luis last season.

"It is difficult for Luis, I understand that. If a team wants you, it can be difficult."

Liverpool have been followed by big crowds throughout their pre-season trip to Indonesia and Australia, and Thailand this week looks to be no different.

Rodgers hopes that is something that will help get the message home.

He said: "I am sure Luis will have seen the sheer size and status of the club, so we'll just see how it goes. It is not something we want to run on too long."

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