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Rodgers: We did all we could to keep Suarez

ESPN staff
July 17, 2014 « Cologne return better than World Cup win - Podolski | Rashid's burst takes Yorkshire top »
Barca confirm Suarez deal done

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists the club did everything they could to keep hold of Luis Suarez prior to his move to Barcelona.

Barcelona announced on Wednesday that Suarez was "100 percent"a Barca player, despite the striker's absence from a press conference due to his four-month FIFA ban from all football-related activity after biting Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup.

Agger dismisses house sale talk

  • Liverpool vice-captain Daniel Agger has dismissed suggestions he is selling his Merseyside house and preparing to leave Anfield.
  • Agger made only 16 Premier League starts last season as he struggled for form and fitness. He lost a regular starting place after suffering a rib injury in September, and was then ruled out for a further six weeks with a calf problem sustained in January.
  • Agger, Kolo Toure and Mamadou Sakho all had stints as Martin Skrtel's central defensive partner during the campaign but manager Brendan Rodgers is still looking to strengthen at the back.
  • Rodgers continues to chase a deal for Southampton central defender Dejan Lovren despite having a £20 million bid rejected, which has led to suggestions that Agger's Anfield future is in doubt. Liverpool's manager, though, has declared that he still sees the Denamrk international as a key part of his plans. Agger insisted he intends to stay.
  • Asked if he might one day return to Denmark, Agger told the Liverpool Echo: "If the time is right and everything falls into place then I wouldn't rule it out. But the timing has to be right. I have thought about it. A lot actually. But I'm here now and that is what I'm focused on.
  • "As for the rumours, don't believe everything you hear. My restaurants were sold four years ago and I'll be surprised and very sad if anyone has put my house up for sale."
  • Agger bought two restaurants - a Mexican and an Italian - in the trendy Lark Lane area of Liverpool in 2007, but sold his stake in them two years later.

That incident, the third time in Suarez's career that he had been banned for biting, prompted many to urge Rodgers to get rid of Suarez before the start of the season. However, Rogers says Suarez's exit was more down to his desire to move to Spain than his antics in Brazil.

"We did everything we could as a club to keep Luis," Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo. "He wanted to go and play in Spain, and unfortunately when a player no longer wants to play for you, we need as a club to look at it.

"It was his decision for him to go, he's gone to Barcelona, a club he wanted to play for and now we'll move on.

"I'm not sure if he would have gone regardless of the World Cup but I never felt that towards the end of the season. Likewise he never said he would give us another year either. He had obviously signed a new deal so we had that.

"I think we have had great service out of Luis and it's one that we can't worry too much about now, it's done, it's gone and our focus is here.

"There is a lot of work going on with the recruitment team in terms of getting in the right player and I am sure we can identify that. This club and many other clubs have shown over a period of time you move on, and believe me, it will be a really exciting season for us."

Suarez will be ineligible to play for Barca, who reportedly paid £75 million for his services - or even to train with his team-mates - unless any appeal lodged with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is successful.

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