Luis Suarez contract will 'take care of itself' if Liverpool can keep improving

Brendan Rodgers wants his side, who are second in the league, to focus on the football

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes the future of striker Luis Suarez will take care of itself as long as the focus remains on football.

Managing director Ian Ayre flew to Barcelona this week to open preliminary talks about an improved contract for the Uruguay international, who has two and a half years remaining on his current deal.

Suarez wants to play in the Champions League and with the Reds in second place in the table they are in a good position to deliver that this season.

Which is why Rodgers wants the emphasis to remain on the pitch ahead of a tough festive schedule which includes trips to top-four rivals Manchester City and Chelsea.

"There is nothing to report on that," he said when asked about Suarez's contract.

"Contractually, with any players, it is private so at the minute he is just focusing on his football.

"We are just very much focused on our performance level, improving and improving players, and I think that will all take care of itself. I don't think there is any rush at this moment in time.

"Of course he is a player we want to keep here and build the team around in the coming years."

Suarez is the Barclays Premier League's leading scorer with 17 this season, which is even more remarkable considering he missed the first five matches as his 10-game suspension for biting Branislav Ivanovic was carried over from the previous campaign.

On Sunday he won the Football Supporters' Federation player of the year, some achievement considering the abuse he has had from opposition supporters in the wake of the biting incident and prior to that a seven-match ban for racially-abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra as well as being accused of diving on occasions.

Rodgers believes the 26-year-old has returned a better player and person.

"I think it is part of nature that you mature and the ban hit him really hard last time," he added.

"He is a player every manager in the world would want in his team for his determination and quality.

"But I've got to know him as a human being and I know a lot of things written and said about him couldn't be further from the truth.

"He is a really humble man, he just has this unique desire to win games and we see that week in, week out.

"If you judge him on his football he is up there with the world's best.

"As a human being he's had his difficult moments and we've had our difficult moments with him, but he is a great guy and is really coming to the fore in this period."

Suarez captained the side in Sunday's 5-0 win at Tottenham in the absence of the injured Steven Gerrard and Rodgers believes that is a reflection of his standing within the squad.

"I think it is maturity. He has really felt the love of the supporters because after the 10-game ban he found it difficult to cope," he said.

"He is a man who plays football for the love of the game and we see that every week.

"He is maturing, accepting the role and responsibility I've given him here.

"He is not only a top player, he is one of the pillars of the group.

"We are a young side with an average age (that is) probably the lowest for a number of years and he has taken on that mantle in order to help and support those young players while having that x-factor to his game.

"I just think he is in a good place, his family is in a good place and long may it continue."

PA

Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Voices
Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum