Liverpool’s Luis Suárez appears to have become an outcast at the club following his declared desire to join Arsenal.
Suárez will be told by Liverpool to train away from the squad until he shows a better attitude, with his angry manager, Brendan Rodgers, accusing him of showing a “total disrespect of the club”.
Rodgers rejected Suárez’s claim that the striker was promised a move this summer if Liverpool did not qualify for the Champions League and, in a further setback for the Uruguayan, the Professional Footballers’ Association has concluded that there is no clause in his contract guaranteeing him a move for £40 million.
Suárez’s public outburst against Liverpool, in an interview with the Guardian, has backfired on him, with the order to train away from the squad effectively signalling that he has become an outcast because of his desire to leave for Arsenal and what Rodgers regards as a lack of respect for the club and his teammates.
The manager said Suárez must publicly apologise before he can be considered for playing again.
“There were no promises made — categorically none — and no promises broken,” Rodgers said on Wednesday night. “The club and his representatives had several conversations and he knew exactly where he was at.
“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. 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. I don’t believe there is a clause in his contract that says he can leave for any sort of price.”
Suárez says he is prepared to make his desire to leave official by lodging a formal transfer request by the end of this week, but Rodgers reiterated that Liverpool will sell only for the “correct value”, believed to be more than £50 million.
Questioned about Suárez playing for the club again, the manager 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.”
Of an apology he added: “That’s something I will ensure before anything happens in the future.”
Arsenal remain in line to sign Suárez should he force through his wish, with Arsène Wenger describing the club as being “on standby” as they continue to wait for what they hope will be a decisive twist to the saga.
They made a £40 000 001 bid more than two weeks ago and are pleased that Suárez has gone public.