Brendan Rodgers has said it is too late for Luis Suarez to leave Liverpool after reports emerged that Real Madrid could make a move for the Uruguayan striker.
Speculation concerning a move to Spain originally surfaced at the beginning of the summer, although Real’s rather public pursuit of Tottenham winger Gareth Bale kept them wrapped up for the majority of the transfer window.
But it emerged last night that they could launch a bid for Suarez, who was the subject of intense interest from Premier League rivals Arsenal. The Gunners saw two bids – the second of £40m plus £1 – rejected with Liverpool reluctant to sell their star player, especially to another English club.
But when Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admitted he would not make another move for Suarez, and Rodgers reintegrated him into the first-team squad following his demotion to the reserves, it seemed Suarez would be staying at Anfield – at least for the current transfer window.
And despite Real’s growing interest, Rodgers claims that is still the case.
"It's very difficult at this time [for a Suarez bid to succeed]," Rodgers said.
"We are trying to get one or two more quality players in through the door. If we lose Luis at this stage it would be difficult to replace him.
"There might have been a point a few months ago where there was time to do it but with 11 days to go it would be difficult to replace him."
Rodgers has been active in bringing new faces to the club with the arrivals of Simon Mignolet, Kolo Toure, Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto, and he also secured the loan-signing of Aly Cissokho earlier this week.
But the news that defender Sebastian Coates has been ruled out of the majority of the season looks likely to force Rodgers into making another signing to cover his back-line, while there remains uncertainty over the future of Martin Skrtel with Napoli interested in the Slovakian.
Rodgers had also tried to sign Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who went to Borussia Dortmund, and Diego Costa, who chose to extend his contract at Atletico Madrid, while he also is set to be snubbed in his attempts to sign Anzhi Makhachkala defender Willian.
The Brazilian was close to a deal with Tottenham having undergone a medical, and while the deal could still go through, Chelsea have tried to hijack the deal at the eleventh hour after submitting a later offer.
However, the Reds got off to a winning start on Saturday with a 1-0 victory over Stoke, and the new signings impressed early, with Mignolet saving a late penalty to give Rodgers the three points.
The Northern Irishman defender Liverpool’s attempts to go after big names, and claimed that the club had to in order to progress and get back to where it belongs in the Champions League.
"Over the course of the summer we have been very ambitious in our attempts to improve the team.
"Some might say too ambitious - but this is Liverpool Football Club.
"We are trying to get the best players we possibly can. If we can't get them in we just have to move on.
"We have 11 days to go. We have to do everything we possibly can. It hasn't changed.
"If you want to claim the league you have to have quality and get the best players you possibly can to help you climb. That is our aim.
"If you don't get the player you want there is that initial disappointment but you can't dwell on it. There is still a chunk of the window left.
"We did some business early on in the window that was very good and if we can finish off in these remaining days and get some players in that can help us, it would end a very good window for us."
He also admitted his sadness over the injury to Coates, who has struggled to break into the first team although time was on his side at just 22 years of age.
"I think it is something we are looking at certainly, a player to come in in that position,” claimed Rodgers.
"I feel for big Seba. It is probably going to rule him out for most of the season, which is a big problem."
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