Sport Soccer

Monday 20 January 2020

Reds reject talk of £40m deal as Real Madrid bid to lure Suarez

Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez

Mark Ogden

Liverpool will resist Real Madrid's attempts to lure Luis Suarez away from Anfield this summer amid growing confusion over the Uruguayan's commitment to the club.

Suarez said in Uruguay on Wednesday that it would be "difficult to say no to Madrid" after claiming that his family had suffered as a result of the controversy generated by his on-field behaviour for Liverpool this season.

However, his representative, Pere Guardiola, insisted the player was "happy and will stay at Liverpool."

Liverpool have rejected claims from the Spanish media that a £40m deal for Suarez has already been struck with Real.

The Uruguayan signed a four-year contract at Anfield 12 months ago and Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has been given the backing of the club's American owners to reject any offers over the summer.

CONFIRMED

However, Florentino Perez, the Real president, who is seeking re-election at the Bernabeu, confirmed his club's interest in the 26-year-old to Spanish newspaper 'Marca.'

"Suarez is a great player and I am sure all (clubs) in the world would want him," Perez said. "I like him and others too, but it does not always fit."

Real's interest in Suarez is complicated by the club's determination to sign Gareth Bale from Tottenham, with a move for Napoli's Edinson Cavani also likely.

Perez is said to be attempting to persuade Cristiano Ronaldo to sign a new £400,000-a-week contract.

He told a Spanish radio sports show that he would not sell the Portuguese striker "even for €1,000m."

Meanwhile, Manuel Pellegrini's plans to reshape the Manchester City squad will be boosted by a £15m annual saving on the wages bill.

Pellegrini is expected to start his new job next week, with the City hierarchy planning to make an official announcement on his appointment on Monday.

With efforts being made to ensure that Napoli's Cavani and Malaga winger Isco follow Pellegrini to City, the departures of Kolo Toure, Roque Santa Cruz and Wayne Bridge will free up more than £300,000 a week in wages for the club to reinforce the Chilean's squad before the start of next season.

Ivory Coast defender Toure agreed a deal with Liverpool this week after his £120,000-a-week contract expired at City, four years after he arrived in a £12m transfer from Arsenal.

Former England full-back Bridge, who has been loaned to Sunderland, West Ham and Brighton since making his Premier League appearance for City in December 2010, is out of contract at the end of June, enabling the club to remove the 32-year-old's £90,000-a-week salary from the payroll.

Santa Cruz will also be allowed to leave the Etihad this summer, four years and only six Premier League starts after arriving in a £100,000-a-week, £17.5m transfer from Blackburn Rovers. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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