Luis Suarez has pledged to fire Liverpool into the Champions League after signing a contract until 2018 that could net him £40million.
The Uruguay striker gave Liverpool a huge boost going into the Christmas period when putting pen to paper on initial terms of £170,000 per week, the most lucrative deal in the club’s 121-year history.
That figure could rise to beyond £200,000 — which would put him in line with players such as Wayne Rooney, Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure — given the bonuses that are involved for such things as winning trophies and finishing in the top four.
Suarez’s current deal was due to run until the summer of 2016 but the 26-year-old, who has scored 17 goals in 12 Barclays Premier League games this season, has now put an end to speculation about his future by committing to Liverpool until June 2018. It is a huge turnaround for a player who tried to force a move away from the club during the summer. Ian Ayre, Liverpool’s Managing Director, flew to Barcelona earlier this week to hold talks with Suarez’s agent, Pere Guardiola. The swift conclusion to the negotiations completes a remarkable change in fortunes for a player who was angling to move to Arsenal in August, angering Liverpool fans in the process.
Suarez said: ‘It’s nice because when you extend your contract, you extend it because you want to stay here for the future. I signed not only for two-and-a-half more years, but I signed for a long time to stay here and I am so happy.
‘The first dream for me is to play in the Champions League with Liverpool.
‘It’s my hope and my dream. I think when we have very good players, we can try our best at the Premier League. ‘Brendan Rodgers was very important. When you have the confidence of the manager, you can try your best. In the dressing room I am so happy. I don’t have problems with anyone. ‘We have many big players but in the dressing room they are all nice people and they are funny too. This is important. I love the city and the supporters. They help me and I try my best on the pitch for them.
‘The summer was a difficult time but they helped me to come back and play.’
Liverpool would not comment on whether Suarez’s new terms include an exit clause.
When Arsenal were pursuing Suarez, they believed they could trigger his transfer by bidding £40,000,001 but no such clause existed.
John W Henry, the club’s principal owner, feels they have made a statement in retaining his services.
Henry said: ‘This is an indication we are moving in the right direction and moving at a pace that impresses one of the best players in world football.’
Liverpool manager Rodgers, who wants his side to show their intentions by taking top spot with a win over Cardiff today, believes Suarez can be the catalyst for everything they are aiming to achieve.
‘This is fantastic news for the team, the owners and most importantly the supporters,’ said Rodgers. ‘Luis is a world-class talent and securing his services is crucial for what we are trying to achieve here.
‘What’s most important and most exciting is that, at 26 years old, his best years are ahead of him.
‘We know we’ll be seeing him reach that potential in a Liverpool shirt.
‘We are not getting carried away. It is a terrific reward for the player and very satisfying for the supporters.’ – Daily Mail