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Thursday 19 October 2017

Rodgers: 'Luis is staying'

Wantaway striker told to 'get back in line' by Reds boss

DUBLIN DATE: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers (right) and Celtic manager Neil Lennon during a press conference ahead of today friendly match, during a pre-match press conference at the Mansion House, Dublin.
DUBLIN DATE: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers (right) and Celtic manager Neil Lennon during a press conference ahead of today friendly match, during a pre-match press conference at the Mansion House, Dublin.

BRENDAN RODGERS will welcome Luis Suarez back into his squad as soon as the wantaway striker "gets his head around" the fact that Liverpool have no intention to sell their prize asset.

In Dublin for today's clash with Celtic at the Aviva Stadium, Rodgers showed no sign that the relentless speculation about Suarez is getting to him.

Flanked by Bhoys boss Neil Lennon, Rodgers reiterated Liverpool's position on Suarez that he will not be sold, regardless of the player's own wishes.

"He's doing his training on his own and he understands totally what's going on. He'll continue to do that," said Rodgers.

"It has been difficult period for him.

"But it's my job to protect the group as well and once he's back in line and giving the same commitment, he'll rejoin the group. It's been a difficult few days for him but he knows where he stands with the football club."

Asked whether he faced a losing battle to hold on to Suarez (right), Rodgers was adamant.

 

CALM

"No. We're quite calm. The club is in control of this situation. He has two years left on his contract and we don't want to sell. We made a conscious effort to build a team around him last season and he was fantastic so we have no inclination to sell. Especially to a team that are rivals to us. We are not fighting a losing battle to keep him," he said.

Rodgers believes that Suarez will come to realisation soon that Liverpool will be his home for the foreseeable future but also accepts that sometimes a point is reached where an unwilling player becomes a negative at a club.

"It's dependent on the player. There will come a time when he recognises that the club will not sell and once he gets his head around that, from what I know of him, he'll get on training pitch and give 100 per cent," he said.

"The door will be open to Luis. It's been a difficult period but this guy is a world class striker who lives for football and once he crosses the white line, he's world class."

Rodgers is happy that the worst of the hype is now over and that soon he will be able to focus fully on buying new talent in, rather than selling what he was.

"I believe the worst is behind us. It has been a difficult period for us as a football club. The bottom line is that we don't want to lose one of the best strikers in the world," he added.

Rodgers moved on to talk about his friendship with Lennon and his respect for the work he has done at Celtic.

"The work Neil has done has been incredible. I know the size of club, the status and pressure of it. There are not many jobs where there is pressure to win every single game. He has all the credential to become a top European coach," he said.

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