Suarez transfer saga won't sabotage Liverpool's season, says Rodgers

The 40-year-old now refuses to talk about the Uruguay international until he is available for selection as he wants to respect his players, who have worked hard in training
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists that he will not let striker Luis Suarez "sabotage" the club's start to the season.

The Uruguay international has been subject to multiple bids from Premier League rivals Arsenal and has revealed his wish to move away from Anfield but the club are not budging in their desire to keep him and the Ulsterman has had enough.

"There's too much good work gone on here for it to be overtaken by anything else," Rodgers told reporters. "The players have worked so hard, their concentration has been brilliant and we are all very determined this year. I can't let anything detract from that.

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"Nothing can sabotage what we are trying to do. I don't really want to go on about it; it's just something we cannot afford to happen.

"It is very simple on Luis. So much has been written and said about Luis over the last few months but, from our perspective, there has been a standpoint within the club about where it's at and that hasn't changed.

"What I want to concentrate on is the players who are available [to face Stoke City] so I won't be speaking any more about Luis Suarez until he's available - out of respect for the players who have worked so hard over the course of these last few months.

"There's nothing to be said that hasn't already been said. I'm sure people are fed up listening and reading about it."

Rodgers also revealed that Stewart Downing's £5 million move to West Ham was fuelled by the winger's choice rather than his own.

"It was ultimately the player's decision, really," the Reds boss explained. "Stewart was one I was in no hurry to move - he had two years left on his deal - but he was offered an incredible deal at West Ham so decided to go with it."