After Liverpool ran out 2-0 winners in Steven Gerrard’s testimonial match with Olympiacos this weekend, Brendan Rodgers took a wee bit of time out from his pre-season preparations to take a shot at Arsenal for their pursuit of want-away striker Luis Suarez.
While Gunners boss Arsene Wenger spoke of his desire to keep things “amicable” between the two clubs, Rodgers, on the other hand, wasn’t interested in being quite as diplomatic with his counterpart. “I’ve always associated Arsenal as a club with class and so there was a wee bit of a game there,” said the Northern Irishman while speaking about the £40mil + £1 bid they lodged for the Uruguayans services over a fortnight ago. “There is a market in football for players,” continued Rodgers, “but from us the message is constant – we do not want to sell.”
The Reds have been unwavering in their resolve to keep the Uruguayan goal machine and their dedication could drive the controversial forward to hand in a transfer request to force through a move to North London. Suarez has made his intentions known and despite a resounding reception from the Liverpool faithful during his cameo appearance on Saturday, it’s believed that he’s prepared to take his case all the way to the Court of Arbitration for Sport if he doesn’t get his way. El Pistolero, in a possible attempt to further distance himself from his teammates, was a noticeable absentee from a gala dinner held in Steven Gerrard’s honour in Liverpool city center following his testimonial on Saturday; still, Rodgers continues to re-iterate that the Uruguayan “very much part of the group” and is in his plans for the coming season. Whether the outcome of Liverpool’s continuing pursuit of Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa will change that tune remains to be seen, but for the time being, it appears Suarez will be wearing Red – from the sidelines anyways – at the end of August.