Brendan Rodgers has insisted that Luis Suarez will not be leaving Liverpool “unless something drastic happens” but he has stressed that no player is bigger than the club.
Liverpool have rejected an offer from Arsenal for the striker, with a fee understood to be £30m falling short of the Reds £40m valuation. Rodgers has emphasised that he does not wish to sell the Uruguayan despite his clear intention to leave the club and move on to bigger and better things.
Suarez was named in the 27-man squad for the club’s pre-season tour of Indonesia, Australia and Thailand, and having been given an extended holiday following his participation in the Confederations Cup, he will join up “later on in the tour”.
Speaking in a press conference in Jakarta earlier today, Rodgers said: “Luis Suarez is a wonderful player and he is still very much a Liverpool player.
"No matter who the player is, nobody is bigger than Liverpool Football Club.
"Luis is a very important member of this squad and I am looking forward to working with him again this season after he had such a fantastic season.
"There has been lots of speculation about Luis moving to another club but, as I said, he is very much a Liverpool player.
"We had an offer that was nowhere near what we value him at. He's one of the top strikers in the world.”
Rodger’s made it clear that the club’s aim is to return to the Champions League, a feat that they have missed out on since they finished second in 2008/9.
"Of course he wants to work and play at the top level,” Rodgers added. “But unless something drastic happens, he will be staying here.
"He has got three years left on his contract. We are looking forward to him helping us get into the Champions League spots.
"That's a competition we are fighting to get into. The great name and history of Liverpool dictates we should be in that competition.
"It is difficult these days with the finance some clubs have but I believe that we will put up a great fight this season. Let's hope we can get back to where we belong."
Suarez scored 30-times last season, demonstrating why he is so important to the club when at times they looked short on quality players beyond Suarez and captain Steven Gerrard.
Despite his good form, he once again found himself in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, when he was banned for 10-games for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic when the two sides met at Anfield.
Suarez still had 6 games of the ban to sit out once the new season commences, and Rodgers addressed the situation saying that he has apologised and the incident must now be put in the past.
"What Luis did was wrong,” continued Rodgers. “He apologised to me and to his team-mates and the supporters.
"He will serve his punishment and now we have to put it behind us. We will move on and move on together. He knew what he did was wrong and he was told he was wrong by the football club."
Liverpool get their season underway against Stoke where they will be without Suarez, along with a crucial early test against champions Manchester United.