Tuesday 12 December 2017

Liverpool go on defensive over Luis Suarez exit talk

Ian Ayre is confident Liverpool can keep Luis Suarez, pictured, on Merseyside
Ian Ayre is confident Liverpool can keep Luis Suarez, pictured, on Merseyside

Carl Markham

Liverpool may lose a Uruguay international this summer, but they are determined it will not be star striker Luis Suarez.

The club's managing director Ian Ayre went on the defensive after Suarez (right) suggested in an interview in his homeland that he would listen to offers from a Champions League club. Ayre suggested that the comments may have been lost in translation and reiterated Liverpool's intention to keep the 26-year-old at Anfield.

The same, however, may not be true for compatriot Sebastian Coates, who has expressed his dissatisfaction about a lack of playing time under manager Brendan Rodgers this season.

There is no doubt Liverpool would be happier if it transpired the centre-back was the one who departed for pastures new in the summer and not the Premier League's leading goalscorer.

Whether that option is available to them remains to be seen, but it is more than likely their resolve will be tested in relation to Suarez, although Ayre is confident they can keep him out of the clutches of Europe's top clubs.

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

"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 are very pleased to have Luis."

Of his own future Coates, who has featured 10 times this campaign but only three times in the league, said: "I want to be involved in the Uruguayan team. I need to play, whether in Liverpool or somewhere else.

"I have a contract until 2016 but don't know what will happen in the future. I will wait until the end of the season and then speak to the club."

Meanwhile, midfielder Joe Allen has undergone successful surgery on a problem with his left shoulder which will keep him out until next season.

Irish Independent

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