The Luis Suarez transfer saga continues to rumble on, with manager Brendan Rodgers hitting out over his attempts to force a move to Arsenal and club owner John W Henry insisting he will not be sold.
Henry said it would be “ludicrous” to let him join a rival for a top four finish in the Premier League, adding: “He won’t be sold even if a foreign club comes in because we do not have time to sign a suitable replacement.”
Rodgers is deeply unhappy with the striker’s attitude and has rejected claims that he reneged on a verbal agreement last summer which would allow Suarez to leave for a Champions League club should Liverpool fail to qualify themselves.
Rodgers said: “I really, really feel sorry for the supporters, people that have sung his name. We have travelled the world over the course of this pre-season. 85,000 fans were singing Luis’s name in Jakarta.
“I understand his ambition, but this is a club that is one of the very best in the world.”
As a result of his comments, Suarez has been exiled from the rest of the squad and will be forced to train on his own, with Rodgers accusing him of treating the club with “utter disrespect”.
It is understood that the 26-year-old will have to make a formal apology if he is to play for the club again. Although Arsenal have been the only club to make a serious offer so far, Liverpool remain determined to maintain their stance not to sell to a Premier League rival.
The Northern Irishman added: “There were no promises made – categorically none – and no promises broken. The club and his representatives had several conversations and he knew exactly where he was at.
“I will take strong, decisive action. There has been total disrespect of the club – this is a club that is historically one of the biggest in the world and has given him everything; absolutely everything.”
The dispute between Suarez and Liverpool centres around the terminology of the clause in his contract. The Uruguayan and his agent, Pere Guardiola, have sought help from the PFA to arbitrate but the club are adamant that they only had to inform their star striker of any bids over £40 million… Not sell him at that price.
Speaking to Spanish newspaper Marca, Suarez says he believed a clause written into his contract which he signed last summer entitled him to a move.
He said: “Last year I had the opportunity to move to a big European club and I stayed on the understanding that, if we failed to qualify for the Champions League, the following season I’d be allowed to go.
“I gave absolutely everything last season but it was not enough to give us a top four finish – now all I want is for Liverpool to honour our agreement.”