MELBOURNE: Liverpool owner John W Henry questioned whether Arsenal were on drugs after they made a renewed bid to sign top striker Luis Suarez.
“What do you think they’re smoking over there at Emirates?” tweeted the American businessman, after Arsenal reportedly offered £40,000,001 for the Uruguayan star.
Liverpool rank Suarez in the same category as Edinson Cavani, who joined PSG for £55 million. According to British reports, Arsenal’s offer of over £40 million triggers a clause in Suarez’s contract which says Liverpool must consider the bid and inform the player.
It was not clear whether Henry was scoffing at Arsenal’s attempt to sign Suarez from a rival club, or at the amount they are offering.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard said he had been working to convince Suarez to stay at the club since he flew in from Montevideo, telling him there is ‘a lot of love’ for him at Liverpool.
“He is still a Liverpool player,” said the club captain.
Suarez, 26, has made clear he is keen to play Champions League football. But manager Brendan Rodgers said he was in ‘great spirits’ as he joined his teammates on their pre-season tour in Australia.
Asked this week whether he expected Suarez to remain at Liverpool, Rodgers said, “Yes, very much so.”
He added that he was relaxed about the Suarez speculation, saying ‘the bottom line is he is employed by the club. He’s an integral part of the squad. He’s arrived in great spirits.’
Pressed on what would be the price-tag for Suarez, Rodgers replied, “I didn’t say we would sell him. I said every player has a value and a worth. Doesn’t mean you’ve got to sell them.”
Gerrard delights huge Aussie crowd with goal
Gerrard sent the 95,000 crowd home happy with a trademark goal in Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Australia’s Melbourne Victory at the Melbourne Cricket Ground yesterday.
The rapturously-received Liverpool skipper scored in the first half and Spaniard striker Iago Aspas got the second in injury time off some Suarez trickery, to seal a hard-fought win over the two-times A-League champions.
Despite an emotional rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ sung by the capacity red-clad crowd before the kickoff, Liverpool could not do as they pleased against the home side.
“I want to put on record a huge thank you to people of Melbourne and Australia. The ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ at the beginning was a real tear-jerker,” said Rodgers.
Gerrard added, “All we can say as players and staff is thanks for the support and we’ve been overwhelmed since we touched down a few days ago. It’s great to get a win for all the supporters tonight.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2013.
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