Rodgers: No more Luis Suarez talk
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists that his stance on Luis Suarez has not changed -- and instead wants his other players to step into the limelight.
Rodgers insists he wants to stop talking about the striker until he is available again after completing his ten-match suspension.
Suarez, who scored 30 goals for Liverpool last season, has stated repeatedly since the end of May that he wants to leave Anfield, while his club have continued to insist that they will not sell a player who is under contract until 2016.
Arsenal have had two bids for the 26-year-old rejected, including a £40,000,001 offer on July 23 that was apparently intend to trigger a release clause in that contract. Liverpool insist that there is no such clause, and have ordered Suarez to train alone until he apologises for his conduct.
Suarez -- on international duty with Uruguay in Japan this week -- has so far refused to say sorry, and has denied a South American journalist’s claim that he has decided to abandon his attempts to leave.
Rodgers said: “For me and Luis Suarez, it’s very, very simple. I’ll start off by saying that there’s been so much written and said about Luis over the last few months. From our perspective, there’s been a standpoint within the club and with myself in terms of where it’s at, and that hasn’t changed.
“What I want to concentrate on really is the players who are available this weekend, so I won’t be speaking any more about Luis Suarez until he’s available.
“Out of respect for the players who have been working ever so hard with focus and concentration over these last few months for this game, I only want to speak about them. I don’t really want to answer any more questions on Luis Suarez.”
With Suarez suspended in any case for Saturday’s Premier League opener at home to Stoke, Rodgers is hoping that Daniel Sturridge can step forward to shoulder the goalscoring burden.
Sturridge scored twice in a 3-1 midweek friendly win over Newcastle, played behind closed doors, as he steps up his recovery from an ankle injury suffered while playing for England against Republic of Ireland in May.
Rodgers said: “Daniel was very unfortunate that he got his injury at the end of last season. What he’s shown over the course of the off-season is a determination to be just that.
“He’s worked tirelessly with the medical crew, and as a team they’ve got him back. He’s not 100% fit yet, but even if he’s 70 or 80% fit, he’ll be right up there as one of the top strikers.
“He’s shown in particular over the last few weeks after rejoining the group that he’s got power, pace, quality and finishing. And I believe that if he remains fit and churns out the games, scores goals and creates goals, then England will have one of the top strikers in the Premier League.”