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Saturday, March 2, 2013
Rodgers hopeful of Suarez stay

ESPN staff

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is trying not to obsess too much about hanging on to Luis Suarez this summer, but remains confident his star striker will not be tempted by the bright lights of the Champions League.

• Blog: Rodgers right to save Sterling

Suarez took his tally in the Premier League to 21 - 28 for the season - as he scored a hat-trick in Liverpool's 4-0 demolition of Wigan at the DW Stadium.

Europe's heavyweights are bound to come calling in the summer in an attempt to lure Suarez away but Rodgers remains upbeat about the chances of the Uruguay international extending his stay at Anfield.

"It is hard to say it is not important because it is as top players want to play at the top level," he said. "There will always be interest in top players and he is a world class player.

"I speak regularly with Luis and I had a good meeting with his agent a few weeks ago who expressed how much he wants to be a part of things going forward.

"He has is a real affinity here with the players, he is a real leader within the group for us, the supporters adore him, he loves the city and I think he genuinely sees there is a bright future for us.

"It is one where it could have been easy for him to walk out last summer (he instead signed a new contract) but he didn't and he is very happy.

"Hopefully he can see these next couple of years will be very important years for the club and for him.

"I am very confident we can keep making the strides forward and keep adding the quality to the group and keep getting there.''

From the moment Stewart Downing put the visitors ahead it was virtually one-way traffic - apart from two brilliant saves by Jose Reina - as Suarez created havoc.

"For me there is not a better striker at the moment," added Rodgers. "He is clearly the player of the year for myself and for many people around the country.

"He is absolutely incredible. Forget about his quality, it is his hunger and desire. He never wants to have an easy day and every time he comes onto the pitch he produces stunning performances and gives his maximum.

"It was a brilliant hat-trick for him and a great day for the team: to get the goals and a clean sheet was terrific."




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