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Thursday 17 August 2017

Suarez: 'I want out'

Uruguayan striker confirms he will file transfer request by end of week

LIVERPOOL striker Luis Suarez has accused the club of reneging on an agreement in his contract which stated he could leave Anfield this summer if they had not qualified for the Champions League.

The Uruguay international has also said he will submit a written transfer request by the end of the week if the Merseyside outfit continue to block a potential move to Arsenal.

Suarez, in interviews given to two UK newspapers, said he believes a clause written into the contract he signed last summer entitles him to a move.

"Last year I had the opportunity to move to a big European club and I stayed on the understanding that if we failed to qualify for the Champions League the following season I'd be allowed to go," the 26-year-old said.

"I gave absolutely everything last season but it was not enough to give us a top-four finish - now all I want is for Liverpool to honour our agreement."

 

BID

Liverpool have rejected two bids from Arsenal - of £30million and £40,000,001 - for Suarez this summer.

Suarez understands the Gunners' unusual second bid of £1 over £40million triggered a release clause, but Liverpool believe they must only inform the player of an offer beyond that mark and negotiate if they wish to sell.

"I don't feel betrayed (by Liverpool) but the club promised me something a year ago just as I promised them that I would stay and try everything possible to get us into the Champions League," he said.

"They gave me their word a year ago and now I want them to honour that.

"And it is not just something verbal with the coach but something that is written in the contract. I'm not going to another club to hurt Liverpool."

Suarez, who joined Liverpool in a £22.8million deal from Ajax in January 2011 and has scored 51 goals in 96 appearances for the club, claims he is now ready to force the issue.

There had been reports that the player and his advisors were considering Premier League arbitration as a possible way to break the impasse over his situation.

"I have the club's word and we have the written contract and we are happy to take this to the Premier League for them to decide the case but I do not want it to come to that," said the South American, who has not travelled with the Reds squad to Norway for today's friendly against Valerenga due to a foot injury. "We have the backing of the PFA."

He added: "I spoke with (Liverpool manager) Brendan Rodgers several times and he told me, 'stay another season, and you have my word if we don't make it then I will personally make sure that you can leave'."

 

INJURY

Suarez did not travel with the squad to Norway for tonight's pre-season friendly against Valerenga because of a foot injury.

The Premier League club confirmed the Uruguayan would stay behind "as a precaution following an injury in training yesterday".

Liverpool announced on their website: "He will undergo a scan on his foot later." Manager Brendan Rodgers will take a 21-man squad that includes captain Steven Gerrard but is also shorn of Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel and Glen Johnson who have what the club describe as "knocks".

Suarez made his second appearance at Anfield in three days, when the club held an open training session for about 5,000 selected fans.

Just like during his 30-minute cameo in Gerrard's testimonial against Olympiacos on Saturday, the striker was cheered at every opportunity during the hour or so the players were out on the pitch but was reluctant to acknowledge such support.

The injury Liverpool have now revealed he sustained may explain that attitude.

Liverpool have taken a firm stance regarding the former Ajax striker since rumours began over his future, making it clear that they do not want to sell him. Yet conjecture about his future refuses to go away, with legal action and Premier League arbitration reported to be possible routes his advisers are exploring.

Suarez is suspended for the first six games of the season as his 10-match ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic is carried over.

 

SAGA

Suarez's team-mate, midfielder Joe Allen, believes the club are now better equipped to deal with the absence of last season's leading goalscorer.

Allen, unlike captain Gerrard who has told Suarez he wants him to stay, has steered clear of becoming involved in the saga.

"I think there are individual situations and as players you just get on with it," he said. "You keep your nose out. We are all waiting to see what will happen."

But the Wales international feels there are more goals in the side now than 12 months ago to lessen the impact should Suarez depart. At the start of last season Suarez, who finished the campaign with 30 goals, almost single-handedly carried the club as their only senior striker after Andy Carroll was loaned to West Ham and a last-minute deal for Clint Dempsey fell through.

This summer Rodgers has brought in attacking reinforcements early, securing the services of Celta Vigo forward Iago Aspas and Sevilla midfielder Luis Alberto, and is currently pursuing a £21.8million deal for Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa.

"Maybe that was a slight problem last year in that we didn't quite get the players we wanted in time and it left the squad a bit bare at times," Allen added.

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