Liverpool's managing director, Ian Ayre, has said the club have "no desire" to sell Luis Suárez and hopes the Premier League's leading goalscorer will honour the lucrative contract extension he signed last summer.
Suárez's Anfield future was cast into doubt on Wednesday when he was reported to have said he would consider offers from a Champions League club. The Liverpool striker, and the club's MD, have claimed his comments were misinterpreted, although that is unlikely to deter Juventus, Bayern Munich and Manchester City, among others, from attempting to capitalise on Liverpool's struggle to qualify for the Champions League for a fourth consecutive year.
Suárez, speaking to Radio Sport 890 in Uruguay, where he is preparing for World Cup qualifiers against Paraguay and Chile, claimed: "I'm sad to read these things. When it's in England I accept it and understand, but I do not expect my words to be twisted over here. I'm sad with the way periodicals treat my words. I will stop talking if they keep doing so." The Anfield club last month denied the authenticity of Suárez quotes in the German newspaper, Bild, that stated he would consider an offer from Bayern.
Liverpool are confident Suárez will remain at Anfield even in the event of Brendan Rodgers's team failing to secure qualification for the Europa League. Suárez reiterated in Wednesday's interview his contentment at Liverpool and belief that he is part of a world-class, "elite" team, but Ayre was prompted to issue a swift response to suggestions the striker is open to rival offers this summer.
He told BBC Radio Five Live "You can read into the comments – it was given in his native language so I think maybe it was a bit lost in translation. We've been consistent with Luis. Last summer he signed a new four-year contract and we have no desire to sell Luis. He is a fantastic player and a great contributor to our team. We've been very honest with him and he's been very honest with us."
Asked if he was 100% certain of keeping the striker for next season Ayre replied "absolutely", although he conceded that Suárez would have an influence on the final decision. The Uruguay international signed a new contract with Liverpool only last summer that, with performance-related bonuses, has been worth more than £100,000-a-week to a player with 29 goals in 40 appearances this term.
Ayre added: "We are very pleased to have Luis and long may that continue. He also says in the same interview that he feels he is in an elite team at Liverpool. Every player is going to get approached by clubs because that is the nature of the game. Every player has a choice – that's part of the game. He has a four-year contract with us and we hope he will see that through."