Rodgers planning for season with Suarez, eyes Melgarejo
By Football News
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is planning for a season with Luis Suarez and looks set to sign a left-back.
Suarez desperately wants a move but Liverpool have already rejected two bids from Arsenal for the star Uruguayan striker.
The 26-year-old is valued at £55million by the Anfield club, a figure yet to be met by Arsenal or Real Madrid, who are also believed to be interested.
Rodgers, whose side beat Thailand 3-0 in a friendly on Sunday, said Suarez was needed to help Liverpool push for a top-four finish.
"Luis is still very much a Liverpool player. There is nothing new to report on his situation," he said.
"He has three years left on his contract and we're planning with him for the season ahead."
Suarez is still working his way up to full fitness after playing the final 30 minutes against Thailand in Bangkok.
The striker will miss Liverpool's first six competitive fixtures of the upcoming season after being banned for biting, and Rodgers said Suarez would build his fitness ahead of his return.
"Luis still has some way to go as he's a number of weeks behind the other players," Rodgers said.
"We also have to consider that our focus over the course of pre-season is for the first Premier League game against Stoke and Luis won't be available for that.
"As he comes closer to finishing his ban we will build him up with more minutes on the field."
Rodgers has said he is looking for another quality attacker – whether Suarez leaves or not – and cover for Jose Enrique at left-back.
It appears he is close to signing a defender, with reports linking Liverpool with a move for Benfica full-back Lorenzo Melgarejo.
The 22-year-old Paraguayan can also play in a more attacking role and Rodgers hopes to sign him on a season-long loan with a view to a permanent move.