Saturday 24 March 2018

Liverpool set to break club record to keep Suarez 'happy'

Luis Suarez of Liverpool
Luis Suarez of Liverpool

Chris Bascombe

Liverpool want to open contract talks with Luis Suarez at the earliest opportunity in an effort to secure the striker's long-term future.

Suarez has over two years remaining of his deal, but Liverpool are well aware that the 26-year-old will be highly coveted following his sensational goal-scoring efforts.

The club are willing to make Suarez the highest paid player in their history with an offer of around £150,000 a week in an effort to avoid a repeat of last summer's speculation and will invite his agent Pere Guardiola – brother of Bayern Munich manager Pep – into negotiations.

Suarez has indicated that he is willing to stay at Anfield: "I am happy and I will stay. When I am happy off the field you can see it in my performance, so you can see that I am happy at Liverpool and I will stay.

"I missed the start of the season but fortunately I am scoring the goals to make up for it now.

"The most important focus for me is to help Liverpool to get into the top four after being out of the Champions League for a long time – and I think we can reach that target."

Such is Suarez's mentality, he did not even want to be substituted a minute from the end of the Norwich game when Rodgers instructed him to come off.

The ovation he received having scored four goals was one of the loudest heard at Anfield for some time and Liverpool manager Rodgers believes that adulation – and the addition of Champions League football – will help keep the South American next season and beyond.

"He hates getting taken off, even if it's for a round of applause," added Rodgers. "He's just a brilliant guy to work with, to see that determination every day in his work and the hunger.

"What's also brilliant to see is the reward he gets from it. It's truly inspiring for the other players to be around that, but he has that humility to keep wanting to improve.

"Let's hope he can keep producing. He's a very important player, great for this league and obviously it's a pleasure to work with him here at Liverpool."

Irish Independent

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