Liverpool hold talks with Luis Suárez's agent after rejecting Arsenal bid

Luis Suárez's agent, Pere Guardiola, has held further talks over the striker's future with Liverpool after Arsenal had a £30m offer rejected for the Uruguay international.

The player's representative travelled to Merseyside on Monday to seek clarification on Liverpool's position regarding their leading striker from the manager, Brendan Rodgers, and the chief executive, Ian Ayre. Despite interest from Real Madrid, Suárez's preferred destination should he leave Anfield, there was no suggestion from Guardiola that his client has a move in the pipeline during the planned and amicable meeting. Nor did he submit a transfer request on behalf of a player who has spoken repeatedly of his disillusionment with life in England and its media.

Liverpool remain adamant that Suárez is not for sale and any suitor would have to offer over £50m to tempt the club into selling their prized asset. That resolve may harden with their leading transfer target for the summer, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, close to joining the Champions League runners-up Borussia Dortmund from Shakhtar Donetsk and they gave no consideration to Arsenal's audacious attempt to entice Suárez to the Emirates Stadium.

The £30m approach was rejected out of hand by Liverpool, who would also be loth to sell the 26-year-old to a Premier League rival. Suárez has three years remaining on his contract and Arsenal's inquiry may have been a tactic to show Real Madrid they have more transfer targets than the Argentina forward Gonzalo Higuaín.

Arsenal's long-standing pursuit of their principal target has been further frustrated after it emerged Madrid still hope to convince the striker he has a future at the Bernabéu. Carlo Ancelotti intends to speak with Higuaín next Monday when he reports back for training and will stress he will have a role to play in the campaign ahead.

Higuaín, who had also been tracked by Juventus, has agreed personal terms over the prospective move to the Emirates Stadium but could yet be persuaded to remain, particularly with Arsenal still to agree an acceptable fee with Madrid over his transfer and the Spanish club close to losing out to Paris Saint-Germain in a deal for Napoli's Edinson Cavani.

Arsène Wenger hoped to secure his services for what would constitute a club record £23m, but Real have since indicated they would be seeking nearer £30m for his services. Indeed, the club's president, Florentino Pérez, was quoted on Monday as saying he did not want Higuaín to leave and that no acceptable offers are on the table.

Liverpool have held talks with West Ham United over a possible move for Stewart Downing, as Rodgers continues to remove expensive signings from the club's wage bill. West Ham have followed up their £15m signing of Andy Carroll with an inquiry for his England international colleague, who has entered the final two years of his Anfield contract. That position would impact on Liverpool's negotiating stance and, though no bid has been received for Downing, West Ham would have to pay in excess of £8m to land the 28-year-old winger.

Powered by article was written by Andy Hunter and Dominic Fifield, for The Guardian on Monday 8th July 2013 22.30 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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