Luis Suarez, Uruguayan international has revealed he wanted to join Arsenal from Liverpool in 2013 because of the former’s regular participation in the Champions League.
Current Atletico striker said he was seeking an exit from Anfield before the 2013-14 season with the Reds finishing seventh in the Premier League and missing out on Champions League football in the previous campaign.
The Gunners infamously bid £40,000,001 believing it would trigger a clause in his contract, but it was immediately rebuffed by Anfield officials and Suarez ended up staying for another season before leaving for Barcelona.
The Uruguayan, former Liverpool and Barcelona striker has now revealed that he was talked into staying by former boss Brendan Rodgers in the summer of 2012 due to his long-term plans at the club, but following their disappointing campaign wanted a move to Emirates Stadium.
“I think I’d been at Liverpool for a year and a half when Brendan [Rodgers] took charge in July 2012,” he told 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.”
Arsene Wenger’s Gunners were about to enter the 16th of their 19 consecutive Champions League campaigns between 1998 and 2017 eight years ago, while Liverpool did not play in the competition between 2010 and 2013.
The Gunners and the Reds’ fortunes have completely shifted since then, with the former currently without European football for the first time in 25 years and in their fifth consecutive season out of the Champions League.
Liverpool meanwhile won the competition back in 2019, beating Tottenham in the final in Madrid 2:0 to their favour, and also reached the 2018 final in Kiev before losing to Real Madrid 1:3.
Klopp’s men will now look to repeat their success of three seasons ago in this year’s competition, with Suarez returning to Anfield as LaLiga champions Atletico take on the Reds on Wednesday night.
Currently, Liverpool sit five points clear at the top of Group B, following a dramatic victory at the Wanda Metropolitano last time out.