Arsenal told £40m Suarez deal "never going to happen"

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Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says Arsenal's £40m deal for Luis Suarez was "never going to happen".

The Gunners lodged a £40m plus one pound bid for the Anfield forward over the summer, an offer they thought would trigger the player's release clause.

That wasn't the case, and despite Suarez's public request to leave the club, Liverpool insisted the striker was not for sale - especially to a Premier League rival.

And Rodgers has now come out and confirmed - on the eve of Liverpool's match against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium tomorrow evening - that the deal was never even considered by the Reds.

"I understand why Arsenal would want to buy a player of Luis's quality because he is one of the leading strikers in the world but it was something that was never going to happen," said Rodgers.

"For us and the institution we are certainly weren't going to sell to a rival, a competitor, and that was something which was very strong from the off.

“There was all sorts of gossip over the summer but we were very firm in our leadership, from the top right the way through, that this was something we didn’t want to do. You have to give credit to the [other] players themselves. It certainly wasn’t an easy situation.

“It was also a great credit to the owners and the leadership of the club that they stood by what my thoughts were as a manager and they backed it all the way.

“This was the place for Luis to showcase his talents. He is a player, like some of our other players, who deserves to be playing at the highest level of European football but we believe he can do that at Liverpool.

“Once the window was shut, like we thought, there was never going to be an issue.”

Liverpool's desire to keep him at the club has paid off - Suarez returned from his 10-match ban last month and has hit six goals already.

His partnership with fellow Anfield striker Daniel Sturridge has been described as "telepathic" and the two forwards have helped fire the Reds to within two points of first place in the Premier League.

Arsenal put the disappointment of missing out on Suarez behind them, and completed a deadline day deal for £42.4m playmaker Mesut Özil. And the Gunners currently sit top of the table following nine games.

Liverpool and Arsenal play tomorrow evening in the Premier League.

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