• Premier League

Rodgers: Suarez will accept Reds stay

ESPN staff
August 9, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Shaka Hislop discusses Liverpool's options up front without Luis Suarez

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says Luis Suarez will come to accept that he is not going to be sold this summer.

Suarez has given three newspaper interviews this week stating his belief that he has a legal right to leave Anfield if a bid of more than £40 million is submitted.

Liverpool, though, have turned down two bids from Arsenal for Suarez, and say there is no release clause in his contract - a view backed by Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor, whose organisation has attempted to mediate in the dispute.

Both Rodgers and principal owner John W. Henry have said this week that the club have no intention of selling Suarez who has been told to train alone after more than two months of publicly seeking a move from Anfield.

At a press conference ahead of Saturday's friendly against Celtic in Dublin, Rodgers said: "Luis has fought for his life for Liverpool. There will come a point where he'll recognise the club is not going to sell - and then he goes on to the pitch and he'll give 100%.

"Luis is training on his own and he understands totally where we're coming from.

"It's been a difficult period for him but it's my job to protect the group. Once he's back with the spirit, he'll rejoin the group.

"We're quite calm. The club is in control of the situation. We've got no inclination to sell and we've been strong on that.

"He's a world-class striker. I've got no question that when he's back, he'll have a similar impact to last season."

Suarez, who arrived from Ajax for £22.8m in January 2011, has three years to run on a contract he signed in 2012.

He was Liverpool's leading scorer with 30 goals last season, but missed the final four games after being handed a ten-match domestic ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during a Premier League fixture in April.

Assuming Liverpool win their Capital One Cup second-round tie home tie against League One side Notts County on August 27, Suarez would be able to make his return for Rodgers in the third round, in the week commencing September 23. He would then be eligible to make his Premier League return at Sunderland on September 29.

Meanwhile, Daniel Agger has been appointed Liverpool's new vice-captain.

Agger, signed from Brondby in 2006, replaces the retired Jamie Carragher as Steven Gerrard's deputy.

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