Suarez 'wants UCL football'
Liverpool have been told Luis Suarez wants to play in the Champions League following talks held with his agent, but the Uruguay striker says he is planning to return to pre-season training as normal until a potential move comes to fruition.
Suarez’s representative, Pere Guardiola, arrived on Merseyside on Monday to discuss the Uruguay international’s future with manager Brendan Rodgers and managing director Ian Ayre, sources have told ESPN.
It is understood that the meeting was amicable, and had been planned before news of Arsenal’s bid broke on Monday.
Guardiola did not submit a transfer request on behalf of Suarez, although the agent said the forward still has reservations about staying at Anfield and would like to consider playing elsewhere.
Suarez confirmed as much in an interview with Uruguayan radio station Sport890, saying: “My agent is in charge, he knows what I want. I am resting and relaxed. I am due back on July 21.
“It is good to know that I am still valued by teams like Arsenal. Friends call me up to ask if I am moving to Chelsea. ‘Ha ha,’ I said.
“Now there are two or three options and the club knows. There are no offers [other than Arsenal] yet but Liverpool know exactly what is going on and what I want. A phone call could change everything.”
It is believed that Guardiola will now attempt to find a buyer for his client, before notifying Liverpool of any interest, but the striker will not yet demand a move.
The meeting between Guardiola and the Reds was the first formal communication the club have had with either Suarez or his representative since the 26-year-old first aired his frustrations at being a Liverpool player.
Liverpool insist that Suarez is not for sale - a position they have maintained since the former Ajax player announced at a press conference in his native Uruguay in May that he wanted to leave.
Suarez has a clause in his contract allowing him to speak to any club who put in a £40 million bid, but no offers in that range have been received. Even if one did come in, Liverpool would not automatically be compelled to sell at that price, and it is understood they would attempt to hold out for a larger fee - somewhere in the region of £50 million.
The 26-year-old has publicly courted a move to Real Madrid, stating that it “would be difficult to say no” if they came in for him - although they have not made a bid.
He subsequently claimed that he had to leave Liverpool because he was being victimised by the British media and the Football Association.
Suarez is currently on a break in South America following his exertions at the Confederations Cup in Brazil.
He is scheduled to report for pre-season training on July 22, although it has not yet been decided what part, if any, he will play in Liverpool’s tour of the Far East and Australia.
Suarez still has six games to serve of a ten-match domestic ban, imposed by the FA after he bit Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during a Premier League game at Anfield on April 21. That suspension, though, does not apply to friendlies.
Information from the Press Association was used in this report