Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has been told to train alone by manager Brendan Rodgers, who says Suarez has “totally disrespected” the club.
Suarez, 26, claimed that he was promised a transfer if Liverpool didn’t qualify for the Champions League, but Rodgers rejected this claim. Suarez also plans to submit a transfer request in the next couple of days if a move is blocked.
Rodgers said, “There were no promises made, categorically none, and no promises broken. The club and his representatives had several conversations and he knew exactly where he was at. There has been total disrespect of the club; a club that has given him everything. Obviously the remarks I’ve read are bitterly disappointing but my job is bigger than that.”
Sources close to Liverpool said the decision to make Suarez train away from the first team was made before his outspoken interview on Tuesday and due to his below-par performances in pre season.
Rodgers added, “I will take strong, decisive action, absolutely. I think Luis knows the support he’s had at the football club and that’s something that’s been unswerving throughout the whole of last season. My job is to fight and protect the club. The conversations I’ve had with him he knows I’ve had, and they will remain private.”
So what do we know already? Well Arsenal have had two bids rejected, the latest of which was £1 over £40m and orchestrated to trigger a release clause in Suarez’s contract.
However, the PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor explained there is no clause in the player’s deal that means Liverpool have to sell him if a club offers more than £40m.
Taylor explained, “If there is a minimum offer of £40m then the parties will discuss things but it does not say the club has to sell. There is a ‘good faith’ clause in relation to serious discussions, but I can’t say it is a cast-iron buy-out clause.”
Suarez is prepared to take this saga to the Premier League to force his exit but Liverpool insist they do not have to sell and Rodgers says Arsenal’s offer remains well short of Liverpool’s valuation of around £50m.
Gordon Taylor is expected to contact both Suarez and Liverpool in an attempt to help mediate on the matter. Taylor explained, “I just feel, like in any other transfer, it is better for both parties to get around the table to try to resolve it.”
“At the moment it is certainly festering and I don’t think it is a good situation for the player or the clubs involved.”
The Premier League season is fast approaching and although Suarez is still serving his 10 match ban for the bite on Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, it is unclear where the striker will be come the end of the transfer window.