London – Luis Suarez’s uneasy relationship with Liverpool reached breaking point as manager Brendan Rodgers accused the striker of lacking dignity over his public campaign to engineer a move away from Anfield.
The controversial Uruguayan striker claimed Liverpool had gone back on an agreement written into his contract, signed last August, which obliges them to sell to any club offering more than £40 million (R617 million).
Arsenal are reported to have bid £40,000,001 for the player in a bid to trigger the release clause.
“The Liverpool way is all about a club with ambition, a club that strives to be the very best, a club that is about commitment – that means that everyone is committed to the cause of fighting for the shirt,” said Rodgers.
“It’s also about dignity and being dignified in how you speak about the club, on and off the field, and it’s about unity. There will never be any player or person bigger than the club.
“Professionally, Luis Suarez has given me everything since I came into the football club, but there is obviously a way in which you have to speak. This is a club that has offered Luis Suarez the utmost respect since the day he walked through the door.
“That’s something that over the course of the coming weeks you need to have when you work for Liverpool Football Club. You’ve got supporters and players that have given Luis Suarez absolutely everything – they backed him to the hilt.”
Rodgers was speaking after seeing Luis Alberto, Iago Aspas, Martin Kelly and Raheem Sterling score in a 4-1 friendly win over Valerenga in Oslo.
Suarez did not feature in the squad.
“I have the club’s word and we have the written contract and we are happy to take this to the Premier League for them to decide the case but I do not want it to come to that,” Suarez told The Guardian yesterday.
“I’m 26. I need to be playing in the Champions League. I waited one year and no one can say that I did not give everything possible with my teammates last season to get us there.”
Suarez arrived at Liverpool in January 2011 after a £22.8m (about R350 million) transfer from Ajax, but his time at Anfield has been marred by accusations of racism against Manchester United’s Patrice Evra and a biting incident against Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic last season.
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