Steven Gerrard has revealed he prevented Luis Suarez from joining Arsenal two years ago after the Uruguayan’s relationship with Brendan Rodgers had “broken down”.
The 28-year-old striker, who joined Barcelona in July 2014 for a fee of around £75m, was desperate to leave Anfield in the summer of 2013 and Arsenal were keen to take him to the capital.
Arsene Wenger lodged a bid of £40,000,001 – which they thought would release him from his Reds contract – but Liverpool refused to sell and Gerrard claims he was key in persuading the controversial frontman to stay on Merseyside for one more season.
“Before the meeting you had Luis Suarez training on his own in the afternoon at Melwood,” Gerrard told BT Sport. “Brendan’s relationship with Luis had broken down. I don’t think it was Brendan’s fault.
“Luis wanted to move on, to play Champions League football and he had people in his ear and people around him forcing him to make moves that maybe he didn’t really want to do.
“So I think it was just a case of being in the middle and trying to heal that relationship with him and Brendan and get him training with the first team again and just chatting to Luis and saying to him, is it Arsenal that you really want or do you want Real Madrid or Barca?
“That was the jist of the conversation, because I knew, deep down that him and his family wanted Barcelona rather than Arsenal.”
Gerrard admitted that the prospect of Suarez playing against Liverpool in the Premier League would have been a huge concern.
“For me and all the Liverpool supporters and Liverpool people it made no sense at all, him going to Arsenal because it would have made them an awful lot stronger.
“When you lose someone like Luis Suarez it makes you an awful lot weaker, so for me, I was prepared to do anything it took to try and make that not happen,” added the LA Galaxy midfielder.