Luis Suárez has confirmed he has no intention of leaving Liverpool in the wake of a turbulent season as the FA Cup finalists look to secure the Uruguay international on a new long-term contract.
Anfield officials are in negotiations with Suárez's representatives over an improved deal for the striker, who scored his 14th goal of the season for Liverpool in their 2-1 defeat of Everton in the FA Cup semi-final. Irrespective of a new contract, the 25-year-old insists he will be at Liverpool next season and will not reciprocate interest from a team who have qualified for the Champions League this summer.
"Yes I will continue at Liverpool," said Suárez. "It is obvious I will continue. I have four years left on my contract and I am very happy and content to be here and I hope good things continue."
Paris St-Germain were the first club to register an interest in Suárez after he was banned for eight matches for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra. The former Ajax captain attracted further condemnation when he refused to shake Evra's hand at Old Trafford in February, including from his own club, but cited the controversial support he received from Kenny Dalglish and his Liverpool team-mates as key to his desire to stay. Suárez said: "I am over that. Obviously the important thing was the support from all the people and there is no need to talk about that as it is already in the past."
The striker's contentment is a major relief for Dalglish and Fenway Sports Group, which last week sacked Damien Comolli as the director of football over the poor return from Liverpool's other expensive recruits and can plan their transfer strategy around Suárez this summer. "It is vitally important he stays," said the defender Jamie Carragher. "He is a fantastic player and I thought he was our best player against Everton. I wouldn't swap him for anyone in the league. I see no reason why he would want to leave. He is playing well so hopefully he will sign a new contract, which he is expecting to do."
One potential problem for Liverpool with Suárez this summer is his openness to the prospect of playing for his country at the Olympic Games. He said: "All my team‑mates are saying we all want to go to the Olympic Games and play as Uruguay has not been there for a long time, but it also depends on the club and the coach of the team who has to pick the players. All of that has to be in order."
Suárez was again the focus of opposition anger at Wembley, where his theatrics and a running feud with John Heitinga prompted Evertonian criticism, and he admitted the barracking has been an issue. He said: "A lot of things happen in football. It's difficult and it's complicated but you have to deal with it and get used to it. It's normal in football when it's a rival as difficult as Everton. The important thing is we came through it and, not just me, but all my team‑mates responded in the best way possible.
"At the end my joy was for my wife and my daughter, and my sister and niece who came from Uruguay, and my father-in-law who came from Barcelona. They made a huge effort to be here so my joy was for all the sacrifices they make for me, and the sacrifices by all the people from Liverpool and all the support they've given us despite not having good moments in recent times."
Brad Jones, meanwhile, said he has no argument with handing the goalkeeper's jersey back to José Reina for the FA Cup final after producing a solid display against Everton. The Australian, third choice before suspension ruled Reina and Alexander Doni out of the semi-final, fell to his knees at the final whistle and dedicated his performance to his late son, Luca. He accepts, however, that a return to the margins now beckons. "I'm a realist," said Jones. "Pepe is one of the best in the world. It's up to him to go and get us a trophy now. I've told him that already."