Brendan Rodgers cool on re-signing Luis Suarez to a new deal


Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists he is in no rush to sign Luis Suarez to a new contract.

When asked about progress is extending Suarez’ deal beyond 2016 – when it’s currently set to run – Rodgers played it cool.

“There’s nothing to report on that,” said Rodgers.

“That (the contract) will all take care of itself, I don’t think there’s any rush at this moment in time with anything on that.”

No rush? Is anyone actually believing that nonsense?

There most definitely is a rush to re-sign Suarez.

First and foremost, he is currently in the best run of form of any player in the world. He’s on a torrid scoring pace, having netted 17 goals in 11 league matches, including hat-tricks against West Brom and Norwich.

Assuming he keeps up that pace Suarez is on target to score 51 goals this season, which would be twenty goals better than the (38-game) Premier League scoring record of 31 set by Alan Shearer in 1995-96 and matched by Cristiano Ronaldo in 2007-08.

Secondly, the sharks are circling Liverpool’s ship.

Arsenal attempted to buy Suarez last summer by offering just over £40 million in hopes of triggering his release clause.

Suarez, who had forgotten the clause was removed from his contract the year before, nevertheless had his head turned.

Last week, Arsene Wenger mused on his failure to acquire Suarez, a man the French boss described as an “angel” off the field and a “demon” on it.

If Wenger isn’t done dreaming of bringing Suarez to Arsenal then cash cow clubs like Real Madrid aren’t either. Last summer Los Blancos dropped £85.3 million to acquire Gareth Bale.

If Bale is worth that sum then Suarez could foreseeably go for upwards of £100 million. Of course that’s not to say that, even at that amount, Liverpool would agree to sell the Uruguayan. But it won’t stop those offers from being tabled.

The more offers tabled and the more substantial those offers, the more likely Suarez and even Liverpool could pull the trigger. There is no such thing as ‘not for sale.’ Everyone has a price.

So don’t let Rodgers’ passiveness fool you. Liverpool is pressing to lock Suarez down until kingdom come.

If they aren’t then there’s something seriously wrong.

Brazil to play Austria in final warmup game for World Cup

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VIENNA (AP) The Austrian soccer federation says Brazil will play its final warmup game for the World Cup against Austria on June 10, a week before the five-time world champions take on Switzerland in their Group E opener.

[ MORE: USMNT adds Kekuta Manneh to roster ahead of friendly ]

The match will be played in Vienna at Ernst Happel Stadium, the same venue where both teams last met in a 2014 friendly, which Brazil won 2-1.

Brazil has further build-up games against World Cup host Russia (March 23), world champion Germany (March 27) and Croatia (June 3) ahead of the June 14-July 15 tournament, where it also meets Costa Rica and Serbia in the group stage.

Austria failed to qualify for the World Cup but will also play friendlies against Russia on May 30 and Germany on June 2.

Fiorentina renames training ground for Davide Astori

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Fiorentina’s training ground has been renamed “Centro Sportivo Davide Astori” in honor of the club’s deceased captain.

[ MORE: Manneh added to USMNT squad ]

Davide Astori died in his team hotel room on March 4, shocking the Italian soccer world and triggering tributes around the world of soccer.

The respected Italian national team center back has had number retired by both Fiorentina and former club Cagliari.

Thousands packed a Florence piazza to salute the player en route to his funeral, and the club won its first match after his passing following vivid pre- and in-match tributes.

Kekuta Manneh added to USMNT roster for Paraguay game

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CHICAGO (AP) Mexican league midfielder Kekuta Manneh was added to the U.S. roster Monday for a March 27 exhibition against Paraguay at Cary, North Carolina.

The 27-year-old was born in Ghana and became a U.S. citizen two years ago while playing with Vancouver. He was traded to Columbus in March 2017 and signed with Pachuca in December.

[ MORE: Southampton momentum? ]

He is among eight players on the 23-man roster who could make their national team debuts. The others are goalkeeper Alex Bono; defenders Shaq Moore, Erik Palmer-Brown and Antonee Robinson; midfielders Marky Delgado and Tim Weah; and forward Andrija Novakovich

Four others have played just once: goalkeeper Zack Steffen, defender Cameron Carter-Vickers and midfielders Weston McKennie and Kenny Saief.

After failing to qualify for the World Cup, the U.S. will not play a competitive match until this summer.

The revised roster:

Goalkeepers: Alex Bono (Toronto), Bill Hamid (Midtjylland, Denmark), Zack Steffen (Columbus).

Defenders: Cameron Carter-Vickers (Ipswich Town, England), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest, England), Matt Miazga (Vitesse, Netherlands), Shaq Moore (Levante, Spain), Erik Palmer-Brown (Kortrijk, Belgium), Antonee Robinson (Bolton, England), Jorge Villafana (Santos Laguna, Mexico), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle, England).

Midfielders: Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls), Marky Delgado (Toronto), Kekuta Manneh (Pachuca, Mexico), Weston McKennie (Schalke, Germany), Darlington Nagbe (Atlanta), Cristian Roldan (Seattle), Kenny Saief (Anderlecht, Belgium), Wil Trapp (Columbus), Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain, France).

Forwards: Andrija Novakovich (Telstar, Netherlands), Rubio Rubin (Tijuana, Mexico), Bobby Wood (Hamburg, Germany).

Further crowd trouble could see Lyon’s European ban made active

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Lyon has not enjoyed sportsmanship on and off the pitch this season.

You’ll remember an ugly incident between its players and Everton fans this season, but it’s been Lyon’s support which has had the Ligue 1 club under the microscope for some time.

[ MORE: (Very) Fresh faces for USMNT ]

Lyon had a two-year ban suspended in April, and antics before Thursday’s Europa League match versus CSKA Moscow could see the French side’s suspension from European competition put into action. From the BBC:

Lyon have been charged with racist behaviour, crowd disturbances, throwing objects and setting off fireworks and blocking stairways.

Police say up to 150 ultras attacked officers outside Lyon’s stadium on Thursday.