Luis Suarez says Steven Gerrard intervened to stop him leaving Liverpool for Arsenal in the summer of 2013.
Just 18 months after moving to Merseyside from Ajax, Suarez tried to force through a move to Arsenal following Liverpool’s failure to qualify for the Champions League.
Arsenal reportedly made an offer of £40,000,001 for Suarez on the understanding a bid in excess of £40m would activate a clause in the forward’s contract enabling him to leave Anfield.
Liverpool remained steadfast in their determination not to sell the Uruguay international to their Premier League rivals, and Suarez – who eventually made a big-money switch to Barcelona in 2014 – says Gerrard persuaded him not to join Arsenal.
“We qualified for the UEFA Europa League but the season ended badly,” Suarez told Otro.
“I’m about to go to Arsenal, forcing myself to go, and Steven tells me ‘I promise that if you stay this year you’re going to take off and next year you’ll go to Bayern, Barcelona, Real Madrid or whichever one you want, but stay this year because you won’t be better off at Arsenal’.”
“This was the last conversation I had with Gerrard at that moment and I told my agent that I had made my decision and I was staying.
“His words convinced me in that moment. They came from a person who cared for me, who wanted my well-being, who saw me suffer during training and saw me sad.
“They were words from a true captain that had an impact in that moment and helped me a lot.”