Liverpool never took Arsenal's Luis Suarez bid seriously, insists Brendan Rodgers


Arsène Wenger was right to admit that Arsenal bidding one pound over £40m for Luis Suarez could have been considered "provocative". That was one word for it. Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers has now supplied a few more, including "derogatory" and lacking class, while claiming that his club merely laughed when they received the offer.

It sounded from his tone, however, as though the laugh was of the bitter variety. "I think Arsenal were ill advised on that, to say the least," he said. "Arsenal as a football club always had great integrity historically and so, when that bid came through, I can only say it was one of the worst pieces of information they ever received.

"It was never going to succeed. At the time we certainly saw the bid as derogatory. The two clubs have historically had class, it has been the hallmark of both, but whether it was £40m and one pound or £40m and one penny, our fight was always to keep him here because he is a top player."

Once Suarez made it clear in July that he wanted to leave, Liverpool appealed in vain to his sense of loyalty and gratitude for the way the club and its supporters had stuck by him amid his disciplinary aberrations.

Rodgers was then forced to take a harder line and make the Uruguayan train on his own. "I'm sure all the players are looking to the manager in a situation like that to see what happens," he said. "It cannot fester and be allowed to become a cancer within the group.

"No matter how difficult the situation was, we were leading up to our first game of the season having had a brilliant pre-season and nothing could be allowed to stand in the way of our preparation for that. My job is to protect the club and it was important during that time that the power of the club was seen."

Whatever Suarez's long-term intentions – which could well depend on Liverpool securing a Champions League place for next season – he appears to have knuckled down, even before his 10-match suspension for biting Branislav Ivanovic finished at the end of September.

Six goals in four league games, including a hat-trick against West Bromwich Albion last Saturday, have confirmed his value to the team and illustrated what Rodgers believes is a greater sense of responsibility.

"I see an improvement in his game and a maturity in his overall personality," the manager said. "You learn from any tough period in your life, and reflect on it, and I think that's happened. I think his football intelligence is improving. You can't always nutmeg someone. You can't always try the tricks, especially if you're dropping in near the halfway line."

In Suarez's absence, Daniel Sturridge rose brilliantly to the challenge of becoming the main striker and now Liverpool have adopted a 3-5-2 formation to suit them both. Sturridge has 10 goals already this season and Rodgers says of him: "Daniel is a big talent. I've said that from when he came in. I genuinely believe he can be at Luis's level in the next couple of years."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific