Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has dismissed the idea that Luis Suarez is playing out his final year at Anfield. The striker revealed that he wanted to leave the club in the summer and was the subject of two failed bids by Arsenal. The Gunners’ interest is thought to remain, while Real Madrid have also been strongly linked with a transfer, either in January or next summer.
For their part, Liverpool have said that they will open negotiations over a new contract in the summer, but Suarez has made no comments committing himself to the club. Still, after Suarez’s latest fine display in scoring a hat-trick against West Brom on Saturday, Rodgers rejected suggestions that the Uruguayan was in his last season with the Merseysiders.
“No, I wouldn't say that," he said, according to Sky Sports. "I think he, like ourselves, wants to be at the very highest level he can be. For me, this is the place for Luis. I still maintain that even if we were in mid-table this would be the place for him to be because this is a massive club -- a global institution.”
Signing a striker is likely to remain on the agenda of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. Behind Olivier Giroud, there is just the previously outcast Nicklas Bendtner and French youngster Yaya Sanogo as natural backups. The Daily Express claims that the Gunners are one of the clubs to be offered the services of Robert Lewandowski by Borussia Dortmund for a knockdown price of £7 million in the January transfer window.
Lewandowski was thought on his way to Bayern Munich in the summer, but Dortmund refused to sell him to their rivals even though he was entering the final year of his contract. Given that they also failed to sell him abroad as they resolved to hold onto him for the last year of his deal, even offering him a pay raise as a sweetener, it seems implausible that he will now be offered away for less money. The 25-year-old is also said to have been offered to Manchester United and Chelsea.
Meanwhile, a lot has been made in recent days over quotes from former Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas. It has often been suggested in the past year that the midfielder could return to the Emirates from Barcelona and his latest comments, in an interview with The Guardian, have been used in certain quarters as further support for that theory. However, while stating his affinity for the club, he was far from committal on whether he would ever return in a playing capacity.
“Arsenal is in my heart and always will be,” he said. “I don't know if I'll have the opportunity to go back and play there one day, or maybe after football. It's a club that is always going to be there and will always open its doors to me. The club's like a family so even if it wasn't as a coach, I'm sure they'd give me the chance to play a role.”
In the same interview, Fabregas joined in the praise for the impact his former teammate Mathieu Flamini has made since returning to Arsenal this summer. Playing an unsung role as a defensive midfielder, his importance has been seen when he has been missing almost as much as when he has been on the pitch. Given that Arsenal lack another player of that type, Wenger is believed to be targeting West Brom’s Youssouf Mulumbu. The Daily Mirror reports that Arsenal scouted the 26-year-old in his recent appearance against Stoke City. A £7 million bid in January is mooted.