Brendan Rodgers has revealed he is in contact with Luis Suarez “nearly every day” in a bid to persuade the striker to stay at Liverpool.
caption:Luis Suarez has said he wants to leave Liverpool.
Suarez, 26, has given a series of interviews since the end of May declaring that he wants to leave Anfield, although he has not submitted a transfer request.
The Uruguay international, serving a ten-match domestic ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during a Premier League match in April, has claimed he has been victimised by the Football Association and the British media.
In his latest interview, given to a Uruguayan radio station this week, Suarez said that he was planning to return to Melwood for pre-season training on July 21, but that “a phone call could change everything”.
The former Ajax man, who is under contract at Anfield until 2016, has indicated that he would be keen on a move to Real Madrid, although the only confirmed bid for him so far has been a £30 million offer from Arsenal, which Liverpool rejected.
Suarez is on a break at the moment, having been on summer duty with Uruguay at the Confederations Cup in Brazil.
The striker’s agent, Pere Guardiola, travelled to Merseyside on Monday to discuss his client’s future with Rodgers and managing director Ian Ayre - meetings that were described as “cordial” by sources.
Rodgers, though, is hoping that Suarez - Liverpool’s 30-goal leading scorer last season - can be persuaded to change his mind about leaving.
The Reds manager told the Liverpool Echo: “We’re communicating in some way with him nearly every day - either through text or conversation - and I hope he stays. I really do.
“Over the course of the last few months and towards the end of last season, there was a lot of speculation about Luis because of his situation and what happened but the fact is we value the player – he had a terrific season for us and showed his qualities.
“I’m in regular communication with him both through texts and conversations on the phone. He’s an absolute magician on the football field and a very valued player by us.”
Rodgers added that he and other club officials have tried to convince Suarez that he has not been the victim of a media witch-hunt.
“It’s something that we’ve stressed,” he said. “What he did was wrong at the end of last season - that was the bottom line. You can’t do that on the football pitch - but we’ve moved on from that.
“Luis is a real competitor, he’s a real winner, he wants Liverpool to do so well but at the moment he’s on a break, he’s been at the Confederations Cup, he’s relaxing with his family but we’re in constant communication with him.
“He’s got three years left on his contract. We don’t want to sell him and we hope that everything will be fine for this summer.”