Luis Suarez has told Liverpool he wants to the leave the club and join Arsenal.
In an interview with the Guardian, the Uruguayan said, “Last year I had the opportunity to move to a big European club and I stayed on the understanding that if we failed to qualify for the Champions League the following season I’d be allowed to go.
“I gave absolutely everything last season but it was not enough to give us a top-four finish – now all I want is for Liverpool to honour our agreement.”
Although he didn’t mention Arsenal by name, it’s clear that Arsenal is the club he wants to join, saying, “It is not as if I am asking to move to a local rival. And I would not consider moving to a club outside the Champions League. I have made my desire to move known in private various times and now it feels like the time for me to make it public.
“I have to put my career first. People say Liverpool deserve more from me but I have scored 50 goals in less than 100 games and now they could double the money they paid for me.
“I spoke with Brendan Rodgers several times and he told me: ‘Stay another season, and you have my word if we don’t make it then I will personally make sure that you can leave.
“I am 26, I need to be playing in the Champions League. I feel I have done enough to be playing in the Champions League at this stage of my career. Now there is an option for me to do that and I want very much to take it.
“I want to move to play in the Champions League and there is a club offering me that opportunity. I have told the manager that I want to leave the club.”
It remains to be seen if there’ll be any progress on this or if Liverpool will simply dig their heels in. Their owner, John Henry, told fans today, “I don’t know why people ask us if we are selling the club or the best players, because we are not. We like to buy stuff, not to sell.”
While Brendan Rodgers said, “We have had a couple of bids from one club, which have been nowhere near the valuation of what he is worth in this market, so there is no change in that. It is the same with any of our players – we are very much trying to build and go forward and we want to keep our best players.
“We have no intention of selling one of the best players in the world to one of our rivals. Luis Suarez is very much a Liverpool player and there is no real value in discussing it unless someone comes close to the valuation.”
That said, all this stuff is part of the game. Arsenal have played it before, but this is thing is now an epic saga of epic proportions which is epic.
Whether going so public will force Liverpool’s hand is anybody’s guess, but they can be in no doubt as to his intentions now.