Paris Saint-Germain want Suarez
Published 22:31 16/02/12 By David Maddock
Liverpool will resist moves by moneybags Paris Saint-Germain to offer Luis Suarez an escape route from his current turmoil.
Reports in France suggest PSG have contacted the striker's advisors to gauge his mood amid the latest fall-out from the racism row involving Manchester United's Patrice Evra.
And the club, now backed by Manchester City-style Arab millions, seemed to make their first subtle play to persuade the 25-year-old to leave when their defender Diego Lugano - Suarez's captain in the Uruguay national team - offered him outspoken support.
Suarez was forced to apologise for failing to shake Evra's hand at the weekend, and was subsequently condemned by his own club for misleading them and letting everyone at Anfield down.
However, Lugano offered a very different view when he said his international team-mate was RIGHT to snub Evra.
"You have to have balls to do what Luis did on Saturday - he followed his principles," he claimed.
"We live in a democracy, and if you do not want to greet someone, you do not do it. And less so if that person has made you experience some bad moments."
Lugano's comments seem particularly pointed, given that not only did no one at Anfield defend Suarez at the weekend, they actually warned him about his future conduct.
That has raised an obvious question mark about the South American's long-term tenure, with indications coming from within the club that Suarez will need to repair some major damage to stay at Liverpool beyond the summer.
And Lugano hinted at simmering resentment on the part of the Uruguay star, when he added:
"Luis is the only innocent party in this situation. We all know it has nothing to do with what happened between Luis and the Manchester player - it's a football argument.
"He has gone through a few months he did not deserve. Everyone in football knows it is a big circus.
"Take into account England is historically a colonial country and racism is a sensitive subject, but many false moralists and hypocrites have profited."
Inevitably, Suarez's future will be in the spotlight for the rest of the season, and PSG have made clear they see him as an attractive alternative after failing to land Manchester City's Carlos Tevez and AC Milan's Alexandre Pato.
No one at Anfield is under any illusions about the distance that needs to be travelled before they can even think about a future for the striker beyond this season.
Yet even though manager Kenny Dalglish will not be drawn publicly on the inevitable questions about the player's tenure, the club will send out the message that there will be no discussions with PSG - or any other interested party - as they try to take stock of the situation.
Speaking on Thursday, Dalglish insisted the time had come to try to return to focusing on football.
"I can only reiterate. We have drawn a line under what happened and we just want Luis to concentrate on his game now," said the Scot.
For his part, Suarez has been training as normal this week and looks certain to be involved against Brighton the fifth round of the FA Cup this weekend.
He has four years left on the contract he signed when he joined from Ajax in a £23million move a year ago.
For the moment, Liverpool are more concerned with lining up their own summer targets than preparing for any sales.