Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has compared the value of Luis Suarez to that of Edison Cavani, who signed for Paris St-Germain for £55million this week.
Suarez has been the subject of increased speculation, with the Uruguayan due to meet up with the Liverpool squad for pre-season training after this weekend.
Real Madrid and Chelsea are the other two clubs said to be interested, although nothing official has been launched by either.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Indonesia, ahead of Saturday’s friendly against an Indonesian XI, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers said Suarez needs to forget about moving to a Champions League club this summer.
“It’s not about me or the club, I think it’s the supporters and his team-mates for what they gave him,” Rodgers said.
“What I do is the same for anyone. My success is not just about trophies, although hopefully when I finish my career I will look back on having won things.
“For me it is about more than that. It’s about making people better people and supporting them when they need it. Luis doesn’t need to show me anything because that’s what I do.
“For me it’s about the great supporters we have. The backing they have given him is absolutely brilliant.
“They have stood by him through thick and thin, and through all the traumas he has gone through over the last couple of seasons.
“If there is anyone he owes it’s them and his team-mates, who have fought beside him, certainly not me.”
Rodgers added that the club are “in total control” of the transfer saga, and that the club value the 26-year-old at much higher than figures being touted.
“I don’t want to set a deadline or put a date on it but this is not something that will run too long,” he continued. “We are totally in control of the situation. It is one where we don’t have to sell. He has got three years left on his contract.
“We are prepared to get some players in and spend money without having to sell Luis Suarez. The reality is that we have had one offer.
“There can be as much speculation as you like, but there has been nothing beyond that.
“It was an offer for what they (Arsenal) considered his value and worth. Obviously for a player of his quality, when you consider that Cavani has gone for £55million you know… Luis is up there in that bracket of top talent.
“Obviously it was an offer we didn’t deem worthy of the talent and even if they came back with that kind of amount (£55million) there’s no guarantee he would be sold even for that because we are trying to build something here.
Arsene Wenger is preparing to submit a formal offer of £35m up front, topped up by £5m of add-ons.
The most telling comment from Rodgers in these latest quotes is that he is keen not to let this transfer saga drag on all summer.
Whether that be giving in to Suarez’s desire to leave, or persuading him to stay, Rodgers must not let this disrupt preparations for the 2013/14 campaign.