The Uruguay international tried to force a move to the Gunners because he wanted to play in Europe’s top club competition
Luis Suarez says he wanted to leave Liverpool to join Arsenal in 2013 because he did not want to miss out on playing in the Champions League.
The Uruguay international joined the Reds in 2011 and spent three years there before leaving for Barcelona.
But the attacker tried to force a move to Arsenal before exiting for Camp Nou, as the north London side tried to trigger a clause in his contract by making a bid worth £40,000,001.
What has been said?
Liverpool ultimately refused to let him go, but Suarez admits he hoped to leave because they had failed to qualify for Europe’s premier club competition.
“I think I’d been at Liverpool for a year and a half when Brendan [Rodgers] took charge in July 2012,” he said to UEFA.com.
“Back then, I had opportunities to sign for other clubs who were getting in contact with me, but he phoned me when I was in Uruguay on holiday, to tell me that he had another way of thinking, that he wanted to change the club and its philosophy, that he wanted the club to get back in the Champions League and fight to win big trophies, that he was going to make the team play great football.
“He asked me to believe and trust him. I enjoyed that chat. I liked his conviction, the philosophy he wanted to implement at the club, so I talked to my agent and the club to say that I didn’t want to leave, that I wanted another opportunity to be successful at Liverpool.
“That year wasn’t as good as we wanted, but ideas were already pretty clear. So then the 2012-13 season goes by, and I wanted to sign for Arsenal, since Arsenal had played in the Champions League every season prior to that.”
How did Suarez perform for Liverpool?
The striker joined the Premier League side from Ajax and went on to score 82 goals in 133 competitive appearances.
He subsequently left to join Barcelona, where he won four La Liga titles and the Champions League on one occasion.
The 34-year-old is now at Atletico Madrid, where he scored 21 goals in his first season and has netted seven times in 14 appearances in 2021-22.