‘Luis Suarez is going nowhere’ was the categorical message coming from new Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers in his most wide-ranging interview since taking the job.
The money-bags of Paris Saint-Germain were rumoured to be very interested in taking the Uruguayan and his questionable grasp of linguistic nuances to the French capital, but in an interview with TalkSport this morning, Rodgers (39) has declared Suarez is not only staying at Anfield, but he will offer the striker an extended contract to keep him at the club beyond his current deal.
“He’s really looking forward to being here and we are obviously hoping that we can get him on to another new contract,” explained an optimistic Rodgers, possibly overestimating the power of a contract has over a modern player’s desire to hoover up money.
As ever during football’s silly season, completely made-up transfer rumours are a major talking point and the Northern Irishman confirmed he is looking to recruit ahead of the new season.
“I’ve got a wonderful group of players here at the moment,” he exaggerated, before adding: “I’m looking forward to bringing in three or four players that can really affect the group.”
As regards to the identities of these nameless targets, Rodgers gave little away, but did suggest high quality candidates are in short supply. With Damien Comolli ousted from his Director of Football Strategy role in April, it looks like Rodgers will have greater freedom to recruit his own targets than Kenny Dalglish, who came under fire for paying inflated prices for comparatively untested players.
“The reality is there are very few players who can come and make a difference to Liverpool,” he said, hinting at a more discerning transfer policy than what went on under the previous regime.
The second Dalglish reign was particularly frustrating for Liverpool fans, with the team occasionally playing some excellent football, only to slump to a dismal display the next time out. A move towards the club’s famous style will be almost as important as improved result and Rodgers has considered adopting the Spanish ‘no recognised striker’ approach in the past.
“It was something I looked at last year. It’s all about penetration. Possession is no good on it’s own. In the final, Spain had penetration as well as possession with the runs from midfield,” said Rodgers.
Rodgers will lead Liverpool into the first match of his era when they face MLS outfit Toronto FC on July 21.