In the face of ongoing transfer speculation linking technically-adept and prolific goal-scorer Luis Suarez with a move away from Anfield, Liverpool refuse to bow to player power or to Arsenal's increasingly aggressive bidding.
Following the £40,000,001 bid that Liverpool rejected from the Gunners, club owner John W Henry took to Twitter to ask his followers what they thought 'they're smoking over at the Emirates.' This, before club manager Brendan Rodgers reiterated their stance: 'he's very much a Liverpool player and over the course of the next number of weeks we've got to get him up to speed and have him fit and raring to go for the beginning of the season.'
Rodgers, speaking after witnessing his side defeat Melbourne Victory 2-0 in a match in which Suarez featured, pointed to the loyalty Suarez has been shown not just by his employers, but also the club's fans amidst the notorious race row of 2011 and the ten-game ban he received for biting Branislav Ivanovic, of Chelsea, in April.
'The support he's received from the supporters and the people of the city of Liverpool has been unrivalled,' said Rodgers.
'In the period of time he's missed a lot of games for various reasons and the people have stood by him like a son and really looked after him, so I'm sure that whatever happens in the coming weeks that will be on his mind because it's certainly something you can never forget.'
Earlier in the week Rodgers also told the BBC how he and the club refuse to allow the situation to be controlled by the player.
'There is no player bigger than Liverpool and that is something we are very strong on. Do I expect him to stay? Very much so.'
image: © jikatu