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."

Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
News
General Election
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders