Brendan Rodgers has insisted Luis Suarez will not leave Liverpool, but has admitted that he is worth a fee closer to the £100m being rumoured for Gareth Bale’s move to Real Madrid.
The Spanish club were believed to be favourites to sign Suarez before putting all their firepower into the pursuit of the Spurs winger, leaving Arsenal to take up the chase for the Uruguayan striker.
Rodgers argues that if Bale is worth a nine-figure fee, then Suarez is definitely worth more than the £40m plus £1 that the Gunners offered last week in a second official bid.
Reports have emerged that Suarez is considering handing in a transfer request and taking legal action over his belief that the bid from Arsenal should have triggered a clause in his contract that allows him to speak to the club.
But so far Suarez has remained quiet on the subject, and came on as a substitute in today’s match against Olympiacos as part of Steven Gerrard’s testimonial.
"It is very, very simple: he is a top player and we don't want to sell him," said the Rodgers, who spoke with Suarez yesterday.
"We are trying to build something here so there is nothing new to report.
"Of all the speculation which has happened from the end of the season, and all the clubs he was supposed to be going to, we've had two bids from one club and that was nowhere near the valuation in the market for a top player.
"Until there is anything dramatic that changes he is still working, we have to get him up to speed for when he is fit.
"I was on the phone last night quite a bit with the owners and they know what we are trying to do: we are trying to build a group up and we are in no hurry to sell Luis or any other player.
"Of course, throughout the world every player will have a value but you only have to look at the market and £40million and £1....Gareth Bale they are talking about nine figures.
"Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez were arguably the two best players in the Premier League and you can't say Gareth Bale is valued at more than 100 per cent more than Luis Suarez.
"Every single player will be open to that (right bid), but it is not even something we are thinking about it.
"We are very strong in the belief in what we are doing and there will be no-one moving out of here."
Suarez was given a warm welcome as he ran out at Anfield, with fans hoping that their support will influence his decision to stay after his 23 goals last season – two more than Bale – which will be crucial again this term if Liverpool are to get back into top four contention.
Rodgers claimed that while some may have been surprised by the reaction for Suarez, he wasn’t and that it was a sign of how much he is loved by the Anfield faithful.
"It is not quite the reception you guys (the media) thought," said Rodgers.
"It just shows you the class of the Liverpool supporters. There has been a lot of speculation about Luis and what sort of reception he would get, but they love their own and Luis is still very much part of the team.
"He can't start the season because he is suspended, but they have given him everything and, even when they may have had an excuse (not to), they backed him to the hilt and it was great for them to do that.
"He was probably humbled by it. There may have been some trepidation in terms of the reaction he would get, but people who have been at this club much longer than me and know the Liverpool way always respect their own.
"Luis is still very much a part of what we are doing and that was another message from them that they love him.
"We only want players who are totally 100 per cent committed to being here and I've spoken to Luis countless times over the summer.
"Speculation can be difficult for players. There are a lot of stories that have gone on around Luis but there is no change in him.
"He is working well and he got a great reception here today.
"The more he is around the group and the great support here - in addition to days like today - he will understand.
"If ever anyone wanted to know the status of Liverpool it was while we were on tour and days like today.
"It is a truly remarkable club and you don't want to leave one of the biggest clubs in the world in a hurry, and I think he knows that."Reuse content