Former Liverpool chief executive says that selling Luis Suarez became rather more difficult in summer 2014 after he bit a man.
Suarez departed Liverpool after three-and-a-half years of scoring all of the goals at Anfield
The Uruguayan was a controversial figure for the Reds to say the very, very least (we won’t get into that), and would eventually leave for Barcelona in 2014.
According to Ayre, chief executive of the club at the time, protracted negotiations with the Spanish club became even more difficult after the striker bit Giorgio Chiellini during a World Cup game.
“The hardest one out has to be Suarez, because a) nobody wanted him to leave and b) halfway through the process he bit somebody at the World Cup!” said Ayre at a University lecture on Wednesday.
“I remember the sporting director of Barcelona calling me during that game, immediately as Suarez bit the player, and he said to me ‘My friend, he’s bitten somebody, how can this be the price?’ I said ‘He’d already bitten somebody when you first bid!
“The thing to understand is that you are never actually in complete control of who you buy and sell as a club.”
Ayre also opened up on Liverpool’s pursuit of Alexis Sanchez as Suarez’s replacement. Sanchez would join Arsenal that summer, but had been heavily linked to the Reds.
“There was much-publicised interest in Alexis Sanchez as part of the deal which saw Luis go to Barcelona, and that deal was done,” Ayre said. “The only reason it wasn’t was that the player and his wife wanted to live in London.
“We couldn’t move the football club to London, unfortunately!”