If Luis Suarez is going to act like a child, Liverpool will treat him like a child.
That’s the position Reds manager Brendan Rodgers is taking to Suarez’ transfer-related antics, explaining that the Uruguayan striker will be told to train on his own after displaying a “total disrespect of the club.”
Suarez has been on an anti-Liverpool rampage over the last two weeks having challenged the club’s contention that he did not have a $62 million (£40m) release clause in his contract, claimed that the Reds promised him a move away from Anfield if they didn’t qualify for Champions League and issued his intent to submit a transfer request via an interview with the Guardian.
Rodgers has vehemently denied the first two accusations while the Professional Footballers’ Association recently confirmed Liverpool’s contractual stance after concluding that there is no clause in Suarez’ contract guaranteeing him a move.
These facts have Rodgers fed up, ordering Suarez to train away from the squad and publicly apologize before he can be considered for a return to the squad. Rodgers spoke passionately about the issue on Wednesday night.
“I think Luis knows the support he’s had at the football club and that’s something that’s been unswerving throughout the whole of last season,” Rodgers said. “Obviously the remarks I’ve read are bitterly disappointing but my job is bigger than that. My job is to fight and protect the club. I will take strong, decisive action, absolutely. There has been total disrespect of the club – this is a lack of respect of a club that has given him everything, absolutely everything.”
When asked when Suarez will play for the club again, Rodgers said: “There’s a few bridges to cross before that can happen. It’s about the respect – that’s the only thing we look for. This is one of the most iconic football clubs in the world, you can’t disrespect it.” Regarding an apology he added: “That’s something I will ensure before anything happens in the future.”
Whether Suarez even cares about Rodgers’ musings, remains the biggest issue. From all indications, the Uruguayan is prepared to make his desire official by lodging a formal transfer request by the end of this week. Such a move will put Arsenal on high alert while Liverpool maintain that they will only be selling their star striker for his “correct value,” which most believe to be in excess of $77.5 million (£50m).