The Anfield manager has stated that everything must be done to rebuild the relationship with wantaway striker Luis Suarez.
The Northern Irish manager has also reiterated that Suarez must apologise for past comments stating that he wanted to leave the club and dispel rumours that the Reds have gone back on an agreement to allow him to depart.
"It is something that we have to do everything we can to fix," the manager told the club's official website.
"If we have got to sit and wait, then so be it. But this is a club that has got great values, and we hope that the situation can be resolved amicably, and I am sure it will be.
“There has been a lot said and a lot reported, and we have made a stance, as a club and as a manager, of the commitment and the standards required. If you don't have that commitment and those standards then you won't play. It's as simple as that.
"There's no problem between me and him, it is quite calm. But obviously I have got to respect the club and the team. It doesn't matter who you are, if they're not pulling their weight then they are letting down the club, the city and everyone who has stood by them.
“So until I get that assurance that we are going to get nothing but 100% commitment, then there will be no solution."
Rodgers’ comment firmly suggest that the ball is in Suarez’s court, and as such the boat may well have sailed on fixing the relationship and the situation being resolved. The Uruguay international stated in no uncertain terms that he wanted to leave Anfield – the chances of him reversing his decision and Liverpool getting “nothing but 100% commitment” do not seem very high at the time of writing.
The next move will need to be made by Suarez. Rodgers has stated that he wants to mend the relationship and keep the player at Anfield – Suarez must now decide what he wants to do. The situation is reminiscent of Carlos Tevez and his trials and tribulations at Manchester City, in which the player wants to leave, but if he can’t leave he doesn’t want to rot away in the reserves.
One of two things can happen now. Firstly Suarez may decide that he needs to force a transfer away from the club, with Liverpool doing everything in their power to keep him. If this is the case, transfer requests, going AWOL and completely destroying the bond with the Merseyside fans will follow suit.
However Suarez may well decide that he is in a position where he could face long spells without first-team football if the Reds continue to reject talk of him leaving, and may decide to apologise. Whether Liverpool get 100% commitment from him is another thing, but this would keep the player playing Premier League football after he returns from his ban, and in the shop window.
It goes back to whether you can keep an unhappy player at a club and expect him to perform. If Liverpool do manage to keep Suarez at Anfield, will he be the same player that lit up the Premier League last season?
How Suarez reacts to Rodgers’ comments remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure – this is not ideal preparation for Liverpool’s upcoming Premier League campaign, which kicks off in four days.
image: © ruairaigh