LIVERPOOL: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has admitted Luis Suarez could be allowed to leave Anfield for the kind of massive fee Real Madrid are reportedly willing to pay for Tottenham’s Gareth Bale.
In a summer of intense speculation surrounding Suarez, the controversial Uruguay forward has made it clear he would like to move to a club playing Champions League football.
Arsenal are the only team to have tabled a bid for Suarez according to Rodgers, who confirmed that the Premier League outfit have made two offers, although neither was higher than £40 million ($53million).
However, Rodgers conceded Suarez has his price as the Reds boss on Saturday compared the situation to the one in which Real are apparently set to pay up to £100 million to sign Wales winger Bale.
“Every player has a valuation but you have to look at the market,” said Rodgers. “With Gareth Bale they are talking about 100 million and Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez were arguably the two best players in the Premier League last season.
“You can’t say that Gareth Bale is valued at over 100 per cent more. We are a club with strong beliefs in what we are doing and nobody will be moving out of here.
“There is, of course, a point where you only want players who are totally 100 per cent committed to being here and I have spoken to Luis countless times over the course of the summer.
“Speculation can be difficult for players but he is back training and back working. The more he is around the group here, the more he is around the great support here, the more he will understand.”
Those Liverpool supporters certainly played their part in trying to convince Suarez, the scorer of 30 goals for their club last season, that his future remains at Anfield.
Suarez played for 30 minutes as a substitute in Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Olympiakos at Anfield on Saturday, a testimonial for club captain Steven Gerrard which has raised around £1 million for the player’s charitable foundation.
Liverpool supporters awarded Suarez a warm welcome, chanting his name and displaying banners appealing for him to stay.
“He was probably humbled by it,” said Rodgers of the reception Suarez received. “There may have been that bit of trepidation about the reaction he would get.
“But people who have been at this club a lot longer than me know this is the Liverpool way. They always respect people and always respect their own.
“Luis is still very much part of what we are doing here. That was the message from them, they love him. We all love him – manager, players, supporters.”
Suarez will nevertheless miss the opening six games of the opening Premier League campaign, the legacy of his suspension for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic late last season.
Whether Suarez is still a Liverpool player when that ban concludes remains to be seen.
“There have been a lot of stories but for all the speculation from the end of last season, we have only had two bids from one club, which are nowhere near our valuation,” added Rodgers.
“Until anything dramatic changes, we have to get him up to speed for when he is fit.”
The Suarez situation detracted slightly from Gerrard’s big day as he celebrated 15 years with the club, although Rodgers was quick to sing his captain’s praises.
“Steven should take all the adulation because he absolutely deserves it,” said Rodgers.
“He is a player who has been so dignified in everything he has done on and off the field.
“Let’s hope he can continue to show the same hunger he has shown the last few years and we can have a happy and successful couple of years to come.”