Apr 21, 2013, 9:30 AM EDT
Ahead of today’s massive fixture between Liverpool and Chelsea, Luis Suarez has calmed the nerves of the Kop by telling the Sunday Times that he will be at Anfield when next season rolls around.
“I’ll be here next season, yes,” Suarez said. “Not only am I playing for Liverpool, I am playing in one of the best leagues in the world.
“I am very happy (at Liverpool) and I want to see out my contract, though in football you never know quite what’s ahead.”
The Uruguayan appeared to leave a little wiggle room with the later portion of the statement, but Reds supporters will nevertheless find comfort in Suarez’ qualification, adding: ”A club can decide they don’t want you, even though you want to stay. In football things never turn out the way you plan.”
Like all top players, Suarez dreams of playing in the Champions League but with five matches to play and 11 points away from qualification, Liverpool won’t be involved in the competition next season. German giants Bayern Munich, however, will be. And with Pep Guardiola set to take over as manager, the Bavarians have made no secret of their admiration for Suarez. The buzz of interest has compelled Liverpool to regularly down-play the reports of Suarez’ possible departure and up until Sunday only veiled references indicated the striker’s intent to stay.
If Suarez were to depart it would be a crushing blow to Liverpool, who’s striking options would be left to Daniel Sturridge, on-loan striker Andy Carroll and the oft-injured Fabio Borini. Of course, a transfer of the striker would bring in a haul of $45-$90 million with which to find a suitable replacement. But if the Reds are to compete in next season’s Premiership, the constant shuffling of the attack is something that the club will look to avoid.
With 29 goals to his name, Suarez has provided Liverpool with the lion’s share of their scoring leading to his short-listing for PFA Player of the Year earlier this week. When asked whether he would have preferred to help Liverpool win a trophy and score fewer goals, the striker said: “Yes, 100 times more. I’ve got very much a group mentality.”
It’s a mindset Reds supporters will hope persists through what promises to be a drama-filled summer in the transfer market.
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