Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed that Luis Suarez’s prospective move to Arsenal was “never going to happen”.
The Reds travel to the Emirates Stadium this weekend, and in a pre-match press conference the Welshman explained: “We were never going to sell to a rival."
“That was our strong point from the off,” he continued, “We must give credit to the owners and the leadership who stood by my decisions and backed us all the way.”
Arsene Wenger reportedly made two bids to prise Suarez away from Anfield during the summer.
After failing with a £35m bid, the Arsenal manager offered £40m and an additional £1, believing that it would trigger a release clause in the Uruguayan’s contract.
Although Suarez at one point wanted to speak to the Gunners, Rodgers managed to hold onto his star man and Wenger had too look elsewhere, eventually signing Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid on transfer deadline day.
“The summer was full of all sorts of gossip and speculation,” Rodgers added. “I respect why Arsenal wanted to buy someone of Luis’ quality.”
Since returning from his early season ban the 26-year-old forward has scored six goals in four Premier League games for the Reds.
He will start for Liverpool on Saturday against the Premier League leaders, and his manager believes that he made the right decision to stay at the club who signed him for £22.8m in 2010.
“I really think this is the stage for Luis to showcase his talents. He is a player that deserves to be playing at the highest levels of European football and we believe he can do that here at Liverpool,” he said.
“He’s one of the hardest working players I’ve seen. He’s been brilliant and he’s a player that we’re very happy to keep.”
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