English Premiership

Reds keep tight grip on Suarez

2013-07-18 12:41
Luis Suarez (AFP)

Jakarta - Liverpool's star striker Luis Suarez is not for sale, manager Brendan Rodgers said on Thursday, after the club reportedly turned down a 30 million ($45 million) offer from Arsenal.

Suarez, 26, has three years left on his contract with Liverpool, and the controversial Uruguayan will spend the first six games of the next season on the bench for biting.

Nonetheless, Arsenal and Real Madrid are believed to have made bids for the striker, whose floor price is set at 40 million by Liverpool.

"We had an offer that came to the club, but it was nowhere near the value and worth of what we feel that Luis brings," Rodgers told reporters, without confirming who made the deal.

"There's been a lot of speculation over the summer with regard to Luis moving to all different clubs. But in this moment in time, he's very much a Liverpool player," Rodgers said in the Indonesian capital Jakarta ahead of a weekend friendly.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, also in Jakarta for a friendly last week that ended in a 7-0 victory for his team, was tight-lipped when asked about a bid for Suarez, but said he hoped "to be in a position where we can answer this question".

Last month Suarez, who was banned for racist abuse in 2011, admitted it would be difficult to turn down an offer from Spanish giants Real Madrid.

British media has reported a recent offer of 25 million by the Spanish club.

"He's very much a Liverpool player, unless something drastic happens that would make us even consider it. As I see him, Suarez has three years left on his contract," Rodgers said, naming the player "one of the top strikers in world football".

He refused to comment on speculation that the Reds were eyeing Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney for transfer.

Losing Suarez would be a blow to the team and Rodgers, who has vowed to revamp the squad and qualify for the Champions League, which it failed to do last term.

"The great name of Liverpool as a club and the history of the club dictates we should be in (the Champions League)," Rodgers said.

"There's no other measure for us. The challenge is very, very difficult because of the competitors now in England. There are so many more teams with other finances," he said.

"But for us, we have to continue to fight and I believe we can put up a great fight this year."

Liverpool will play an Indonesian all-star team Saturday in an exhibition match.

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