Luis Suarez has revealed that he was close to leaving Liverpool in the summer of 2012 to join Italian side Juventus.
Suarez, who left the Premier League club last summer to join Barcelona for Â£75m, claims in his new autobiography that Brendan Rodgers met with him prior to the Northern Irishman’s appointment as Reds boss and convinced him to stay.
The Uruguayan striker went on to score 30 goals in the 2012/13 season before netting 31 times in the following campaign to help Liverpool qualify for the Champions League under Rodgers. He then moved on to Barca, for whom he made his debut in last weekend’s El Clasico defeat to Real Madrid, after having served a four-month ban for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini in a 2014 World Cup group game in Brazil.
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In reference to his meeting with Rodgers, Suarez says: "The first talk I had with him has been at Melwood, just before he would have been named manager. It wasn’t a long talk: he wanted to talk with me because there was a possibility for me to go to Juventus"
He added: "Brendan Rodgers called me in Spanish and he told me to give him time. He told me that we had to manage the ball and to play an offensive game. He convinced me. Even if results haven’t been good, I had seen that we were playing better. I was excited."