Luis Suarez was furious with Liverpool during the period when it appeared as though the Uruguayan forward could move to Arsenal.
A report in The Athletic has detailed Liverpool’s reaction to Arsenal’s now-infamous £40 million plus £1 bid for Luis Suarez in 2013 and there are a number of elements that make for fascinating reading.
Suarez, who had scored 30 goals in the 2012/13 season, was concerned about Liverpool’s ability to put him in the shop window for an ultimate move to Barcelona or Real Madrid and he entertained the idea of moving to the Gunners.
What do you think they're smoking over there at Emirates?
— John W. Henry (@John_W_Henry) July 24, 2013
An unseemly war of words with then-Reds manager Brendan Rodgers played out in the media, as Suarez felt let down by the Northern Irishman’s accusations that Suarez had disrespected his teammates.
With the danger of losing the club’s biggest goal threat to a Premier League rival becoming very real, captain Steven Gerrard stepped in.
Gerrard, who was not close with Suarez off the pitch, sent the forward a text to make it clear that Liverpool were determined to keep him but Suarez replied immediately by telling Gerrard that the club and Rodgers were liars.
Gerrard managed to calm Suarez down and explained to the fiery Uruguay international that moving to Arsenal would completely destroy his relationship with Liverpool fans, who adored Suarez.
Suarez was also assured by his captain that the opportunity to move to Barcelona or Real Madrid would still be there if he committed to another season at Anfield, which he did after a meeting with Rodgers that was somewhat mediated by Gerrard.
Suarez, who finished his final season at Liverpool with the European Golden Shoe, secured his dream move to Barcelona 12 months later and he has previously spoken about Gerrard’s influence on changing his mind about the Arsenal switch.
“We qualified for the Uefa Europa League but the season ended badly,” Suarez told Otro in 2019.
“I’m about to go to Arsenal, forcing myself to go, and Steven tells me ‘I promise that if you stay this year you’re going to take off and next year you’ll go to Bayern, Barcelona, Real Madrid or whichever one you want, but stay this year because you won’t be better off at Arsenal’.
“This was the last conversation I had with Gerrard at that moment and I told my agent that I had made my decision and I was staying.
“His words convinced me in that moment. They came from a person who cared for me, who wanted my well-being, who saw me suffer during training and saw me sad.
“They were words from a true captain that had an impact in that moment and helped me a lot.”