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No bad blood over Suarez fallout – Rodgers

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Liverpool striker Luis Suarez and manager Brendan Rodgers have put the summer transfer saga behind them

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez and manager Brendan Rodgers have put the summer transfer saga behind them

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez and manager Brendan Rodgers have put the summer transfer saga behind them

LIVERPOOL manager Brendan Rodgers says the wounds caused by Arsenal's ill-fated pursuit of Luis Suarez will not fester during the clubs' league and cup double-header over the next fortnight.

Traditionally cordial relations between the clubs were soured last summer, with Liverpool owner John W Henry mocking the £40m-plus-£1 bid for Suarez with a tweet asking: "What are they smoking at the Emirates?"

At the same time, Rodgers queried the "class" of Arsenal for making an offer perceived as, at worst, cynical and, at best, misinformed given the inaccurate details of a clause in Suarez's contract.

For Liverpool supporters, at least, it will generate an edge to the fixture today.

Rodgers will welcome a hostile atmosphere as Liverpool look to cash in on a series of high-profile home games, but he played down suggestions that the Suarez affair had caused lasting ill will between the clubs.

"Liverpool supporters love Luis," said Rodgers. "You can see the commitment and hunger he has for this club and that overrides any ill feeling over what happened in the summer.

"He was in a difficult place in the summer and I had empathy for his situation. Luis deserves to be at the Champions League level, but we had to protect the club.

"We also had to sell it to him that this is still the place to play at that level.

"If you are at that level with Liverpool, and I've seen Champions League matches here in the past, there are not many better places than Anfield on a Champions League night.

"It was about managing the situation and being honest about it."

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Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger has confirmed he will make Bacary Sagna an exception to his policy of offering only one-year contracts to players older than 30.

Sagna is out of contract this summer and Galatasaray are willing to offer him a three-year deal with the option of a fourth. (© Daily Telegraph, London)


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