- Premier League
Rodgers rules out Suarez sale to Madrid
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists the club will not consider selling Luis Suarez to Real Madrid in this transfer window, amid reports that they may be lining up a bid for the striker.
While all the focus at Madrid in the next 48 hours is likely to focus around Gareth Bale's expected arrival from Tottenham, widespread reports in the British media suggest the nine-time European champions may also move to Suarez in the coming days, should they sell French striker Karim Benzema.
Suarez has long promoted his hopes of securing a dream move to the Spanish capital this summer, but Madrid's interest in the player appeared to wane as they trained their attentions on Bale.
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With that deal now set to be confirmed, Suarez may come back onto their radar, but Rodgers seems convinced Liverpool will not sell the striker at any cost now.
After Arsene Wenger conceded defeat in his bid to sign Suarez and turned his attention to snaring Benzema, Rodgers has moved to damped down rumours that his striker may the be subject of fresh interest in the final week of the transfer window.
"There might have been a point [to selling Suarez] a few months ago where there was time to do it, but with 11 days to go it would be difficult to replace him," stated Rodgers.
"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, but selling Luis now is not an option."
Meanwhile, Rodgers has confirmed Liverpool made a move to sign Brazilian forward Willian, but the deal collapsed for what he described as 'non-football reasons,' with reports that Chelsea have now entered the bidding to sign the player.
"We identify the targets and then try and get the deal done financially. That's how it was. The club pushed as hard as they felt they could financially but it wasn't to be." he added of Willian.
"It's the owners' money and they will always have the final say because it's they who run the club. What they have taken on here is a huge job.
"You have seen over the last few years they will finance a project we are trying to develop and what we have to make sure of is we get the right players and the value and worth of the player is right. It's disappointing because this was a player who would have been perfect for us, but it shows the challenge we are up against.
"Chelsea have won the Champions League and spent millions upon millions, Tottenham could spend up to 90-odd million and they are outside the Champions League.
"For us it is a huge, huge challenge, there's no doubt about that, but I don't want to be defeatist. We just have to try to ensure we can get quality through the door and that will give us a chance for fourth. But make no mistake about it, it's a big ask and a big challenge."