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Liverpool stand firm over Suarez

Luis Suarez impresses against Melbourne Victory as Liverpool manager and captain say their striker is happy at club.

Last Modified: 24 Jul 2013 15:17
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Suarez (R) is in demand despite receiving a lengthy ban last season for biting a player [GALLO/GETTY]

Liverpool owner John W. Henry questioned whether Arsenal were on drugs Wednesday after they made a renewed bid to sign top striker Luis Suarez.

"What do you think they're smoking over there at Emirates?" Tweeted the American businessman, after Arsenal reportedly offered $61 million for the Uruguayan star.

Liverpool rank Suarez, the Premier League's second top-scorer last season with 23 goals, in the same category as Edinson Cavani, who joined France's Paris Saint Germain for $84 million.

According to British reports, Arsenal's offer of over $60 million triggers a clause in Suarez's contract which says Liverpool must consider the bid and inform the player.

I didn't say we would sell him. I said that every player has a value and a worth. Doesn't mean you've got to sell them

Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool manager

It was not clear whether Henry was scoffing at Arsenal's attempt to sign Suarez from a rival club, or at the amount they are offering.

Suarez joined Liverpool in Melbourne during their pre-season tour on Sunday and appeared during Wednesday's sell-out friendly at the 95,000-seat Melbourne Cricket Ground. The Reds ended up 2-0 victors against A-League side Melbourne Victory.

It was Suarez' first game since being handed a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic in April. Suarez will miss the start of the Premier League season because of the ban.

The Uruguayan made an immediate impact, culminating in a deft pass for newly-signed striker Iago Aspas' stoppage time goal moments before the final whistle.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard said he had been working to convince Suarez to stay at the club since he flew in from Montevideo, telling him there's "a lot of love" for him at Liverpool.

"He is still a Liverpool player," the club captain told The Australian newspaper.

Suarez, 26, has made clear he is keen to play Champions League football. But manager Brendan Rodgers said he was in 'great spirits' as he joined his team-mates.

Asked this week whether he expected Suarez to remain at Liverpool, Rodgers said: "Yes, very much so."

He added that he was relaxed about the Suarez speculation, saying "the bottom line is he is employed by the club".

"He's an integral part of the squad. He's arrived in great spirits," Rodgers said.

Pressed on what would be the price-tag for Suarez, Rodgers replied: "I didn't say we would sell him. I said that every player has a value and a worth. Doesn't mean you've got to sell them."

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Source:
AFP
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