Luis Suarez still has “100%” backing from Liverpool supporters following his comments this week, according to the editor of a Reds fanzine.
Suarez’s future with the Merseyside outfit appears to be in doubt after he was quoted over the last few days in his native Uruguay as saying “it would be difficult to say ’no’ to Real Madrid” and “it’s a good moment for a change of environment”.
The 26-year-old striker – who is currently serving a 10-game ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, served an eight-match suspension for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra and has faced repeated accusations of diving – has indicated he is no longer prepared to put up with what he perceives as the unjust treatment he gets from the English media.
Asked today if he thought Liverpool fans were tiring of Suarez, Red All Over The Land editor John Pearman told Press Association Sport: “No, certainly not.
“I would say that their support for him is 100%. They have defended him to the hilt and I think they will continue to do that.”
Suarez, signed by Liverpool from Ajax in 2011, scored 30 goals in all competitions last season, and Pearman added: “He has become, in a very short time, something of a legend.
“He is totally different to a lot of other players in the English game. He is a genuine talent, but he is also a maverick – he will do things, and has done things, on impulse, a little bit like Eric Cantona used to do with Manchester United.
“With him being a star footballer, it gets highlighted very, very quickly.
“I dare say when he is over there (in Uruguay), he does sometimes speak without thinking.
“However, I can understand where he is coming from – he has been hounded somewhat by the English media.
“Suarez seems to be an easy target for them.”
In among his comments this week, Suarez – who was speaking to Uruguayan radio station Sport 890 and then at a national team press conference – did say he was “very happy” at Liverpool, while his agent Pere Guardiola has been quoted as saying the player will not be leaving the Reds.
However, it seems to be a case of mixed messages, with Suarez also saying “I do not know when I’m going and I do not know if I’m staying”.
Pearman sees it as almost inevitable that Suarez will move to another side at some point, but is both hopeful and optimistic that it will not occur this summer, and does not believe Liverpool fans will be feeling right now as if the club would be better off without him.
“I would doubt that very much,” Pearman said.
“I was in the company of quite a few Liverpool fans earlier in the week and they are totally committed to Suarez. They stand right behind him all the time.
“Suarez is idolised. Even though he wasn’t playing in the final game of the season, his name was being chanted throughout the match.
“I think Liverpool fans just want him to play for Liverpool. But players are unlikely to be staying with one club for 10 or 15 years – they do move around, and I do expect Suarez to leave one day.
“It would be a setback, but I do believe clubs work on the basis that these things will happen eventually.
“I am reasonably confident (that Suarez will stay this summer) – after all, his agent has come out and said that he wants to play for Liverpool and is happy there.
“Every player can potentially leave, but I’m hopeful that Luis Suarez will stay with Liverpool.”
Liverpool declined to comment on Suarez this morning when contacted by Press Association Sport.