Liverpool seek assurances from Luis Suárez about staying at Anfield

Brendan Rodgers will seek clarification from Luis Suárez on his future intentions in the next 48 hours, with Liverpool hopeful the striker has come to accept he will not be sold this summer.

Liverpool's hardline stance over the 26-year-old appeared to have been rewarded when Suárez reportedly told the Uruguayan newspaper El Observador that he was staying at Anfield. John W Henry, Liverpool's principal owner, offered Suárez little alternative last week when he declared the club would not accept any offer from Arsenal, or a European team, for their leading forward so late in the transfer window.

"For now, due to all of the people's affection, I will be staying," Suárez was reported to have said in an attempt to regain favour at Anfield. The South American journalist Martin Charquero, who is close to the Liverpool striker, also tweeted: "Luis Suárez confirms to me that he will not leave Liverpool. The recent support of the fans influenced his decision. Suárez sees it as likely that he'll sign a renewal to the contract that binds him to Liverpool."

Speaking after scoring and starring in Uruguay's 4-2 friendly win over Japan in Tokyo, however, Suárez distanced himself from the dramatic U-turn. "I didn't say that, maybe someone else did," he was quoted as saying to Japan's Kyodo News. "The main thing is that I am here now with the national team."

Either way, he is due back on Merseyside before Liverpool begin their Premier League campaign at home to Stoke City on Saturday and to outline his position to Rodgers. Liverpool have not been informed by Suárez or his agent, Pere Guardiola, that he is prepared to remain with the club but having made clear their stance, Anfield officials are hopeful the striker now realises there is no prospect of a transfer in this window.

He may seek a new contract containing a more specific release clause, with both Suárez and Arsenal under the mistaken impression a bid of over £40m would trigger a sale this summer.

Suárez has still to offer the apology that Rodgers wants for accusing Liverpool and the manager of broken promises in an interview with the Guardian last week. The striker went public with his frustrations 24 hours after receiving a warm reception from Liverpool fans during an open training session at Anfield, and four days on from a similar response during Steven Gerrard's testimonial, undermining claims in Uruguay that it is the backing of fans that has prompted a change of heart.

Liverpool have registered their interest in the Brazilian midfielder Willian as they attempt to capitalise on the cost-saving measures at Anzhi Makhachkala but have yet to make an offer for the 25-year-old. Willian only joined the Dagestan club in January from Shakhtar Donetsk, for £30m, but is likely to be sold if Anzhi can recoup the cost after owner Suleiman Kerimov slashed their budget from £116m per season to £32m-£45m.

Fenway Sports Group, Liverpool's owners, are prepared to sanction a marquee signing but, having lost out on both Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Diego Costa this summer, may await encouragement from Anzhi before making an official bid. Costa signed a three-year contract extension at Atlético Madrid on Wednesday after Liverpool had been led to believe the Brazilian striker was keen on a £21.8m switch to Anfield.

"I am very happy with the deal, it is a very special moment," said the 24-year-old. "I am delighted with this agreement after fighting for a long time to win the respect and affection of the fans, my team-mates and people in the club."

Powered by article was written by Andy Hunter, for The Guardian on Wednesday 14th August 2013 22.30 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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