Liverpool to reject any late Real Madrid bid for Suarez
Arsenal switching their focus from the unsettled Liverpool striker to Real’s Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema: the Real Madrid striker is now a target for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Brendan Rodgers has said Liverpool are prepared for a Real Madrid bid for Luis Suarez but has reiterated John W Henry’s claim that the striker will not be sold.
Liverpool’s principal owner stated a fortnight ago that the club would not entertain any offers from Arsenal or a European team for the Uruguay international and none have been received since.
But with Arsenal switching their focus from Suarez to Real’s Karim Benzema, and the Spanish club holding a long-standing interest in the Liverpool striker, Rodgers is anticipating a belated approach from Real, who are also close to agreeing a world record €99 million deal for Tottenham’s Gareth Bale.
Real have always been Suarez’s preferred destination and relations with Rodgers were strained when he accused the Liverpool manager of breaking promises over his future in a Guardian interview.
But having missed out on a major summer signing for the third time this week, and confirming that Liverpool’s pursuit of Willian collapsed for financial reasons, Rodgers says the club cannot accept any late moves for Suarez.
Asked if he expected Real to formalise their interest with an offer before the transfer window deadline of 2 September, the Liverpool manager said: “I’m sure there will be plenty of activity in these last number of days. It is what it is and we will deal with it like we have during the summer.
“It’s very difficult at this time (for a Suarez bid to succeed). 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.”
Arsene Wenger said his pursuit of the Liverpool striker had ended following Arsenal’s win over Fenerbahce in the Champions League play-off on Wednesday. With the club’s move for Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney also looking impossible, he has turned his attention back towards Benzema.
Benzema, though, is a favourite of the Real president Florentino Perez and it is unclear whether he would fancy a move to Arsenal.