• Premier League

Rodgers: Champions League not pivotal to Suarez future

ESPN staff
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Brendan Rodgers claims striker Luis Suarez is completely committed to Liverpool and says he does not expect him to leave if the Merseysiders are not in the Champions League next season.

The Uruguayan has scored 20 times this season but Liverpool are still only seventh in the Premier League, seven points adrift of fourth place.

Suarez signed a new contract to stay at Anfield last August, and Rodgers said his top scorer believed in the club's long-term plan to recapture former glories.

The manager said that if the striker had wanted to go, he would have had a reason to look elsewhere last summer when Kenny Dalglish - who signed him for Liverpool - was sacked in the summer.

"Luis had a terrific season last season and he had an opportunity to leave, and probably would have had an excuse with a new manager coming in, but he didn't. He committed to the club," Rodgers said.

"He sees the vision going forward, and he believes in that. He knows it won't happen overnight. He has had a brilliant season with 20 goals until now, and hopefully there are many more to come."

Rodgers said he was certain that Suarez, new signing Daniel Sturridge and Fabio Borini could play together.

Suarez has been Liverpool's sole striker for much of the season, but Sturridge's recruitment and Borini's return to fitness mean he has three forwards at his disposal, and all were used in the last half-hour of the 2-1 defeat to Manchester United.

The manager added: "There's no question they can all play. That's the type of profile we are trying to bring in, players that are flexible and have intelligence.

"All three, Daniel, Luis and Fabio, have played in all three of those striking roles and Luis has also played in that No. 10 role, so I have got no qualms that we can accommodate them in the team."

Borini also came off the bench during Saturday's 5-0 win over Norwich, and Rodgers said: "It is another option for us and that has been great.

"The pleasing thing about last weekend was that we had depth. Fabio will get better and better over time here. He will learn from a top striker like Luis."

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