Friday Kickoff: Liverpool owner Henry won't sell Suarez; Pirlo could leave Juve next summer; and more

Friday Kickoff: Liverpool owner Henry won't sell Suarez; Pirlo could leave Juve next summer; and more

South American Soccer

Friday Kickoff: Liverpool owner Henry won't sell Suarez; Pirlo could leave Juve next summer; and more

LuisSuarezLiverpoolMelbourneVictory3 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Luis Suarez’s potential move away from Anfield is looking bleaker by the day.

A day after Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said that the Suarez transfer from Liverpool to Arsenal was on “standby,” Liverpool’s American owner John Henry came out with his first long-form public statements on the matter.

Henry stated unequivocally that Suarez wouldn’t be sold to Arsenal or any club, at any price, likely ending Arsenal’s quest to sign the Uruguayan. The development leaves the Arsenal boss in a deep rut, having missed on a number of transfer targets this summer including Stevan Jovetic (Man City), Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli), and Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen).

Suarez has made his feelings known with public comments about wanting a deal to be completed. However, it seems that Liverpool are ready to play hardball with the striker and have for now sent him to train on his own at the training ground each day.

Here are some more stories to get your Friday kicked off:

PIRLO WANTS JUVE EXTENSION BUT COULD LEAVE AT SEASON’S END

With his contract set to expire at the end of the season, Italian national team star Andrea Pirlo is looking for a new contract.

The 34-year-old midfielder has said that he wants to stay with Juventus, where he has been since signing on a free transfer in 2011, but if he isn’t in the club’s plans then he could be moving once more to another destination.

“Juve are my priority, but I don’t want to be a weight for anybody,” Pirlo told Gazzetta Dello Sport. “The years go by, but it is not written that I have to stay here just because I am called Pirlo. I want to feel important and a part of the side’s success, otherwise I’ll leave. But I want to underline that it won’t be a problem about money or choosing between one club and another.

“If I had to change, perhaps I’ll go abroad. I’ll certainly continue playing for a high level team.”

Pirlo was rumored to be interested in joining Real Madrid this summer, but the Italian legend denied the reports, saying that although he speaks to new Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti regularly, he is staying to fight for another Scudetto.

Last season, Pirlo scored five times in 45 matches for Juventus as they won their second straight Serie A title.

AGUERO SET TO RETURN FOR MAN CITY OPENER

After missing nearly all of the preseason and summer training months, Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero looks to be returning just in time.

The Argentine forward, who last played for the Sky Blues on May 23 in a postseason friendly vs. Chelsea at Yankee Stadium, is likely to be available for Man City when they take the pitch on August 19 against Newcastle. Aguero has been recovering from a knee injury suffered this summer, but the forward is expected back in training this week.

The 25-year-old Aguero struggled with injuries last season, scoring just 17 times in all competitions compared to his 2011/2012 totals when he bagged 30 in all competitions, and 23 alone in the English Premier League.

TOTTENHAM WANT JESE IN BALE DEAL

In negotiations between Tottenham and Real Madrid over Gareth Bale, a new complication has emerged.

Tottenham have decided that if Madrid won’t include forward Alvaro Morata in the Bale deal, then starler Jese Rodriguez should be included in the player+cash swap for the Welsh midfielder Bale.

Jese starred recently for the Spanish Under-20 side at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, scoring five goals in five games despite Spain losing in the quarterfinals of the competition. The 20-year-old also scored 22 goals for the Real Madrid B side in the Spanish second division last season, and has been included in the first team roster this season with the losses of Gonzalo Higuain and Jose Callejon leaving room for Jese and Morata.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is now requesting that Madrid pay upwards of €120 million plus Jese, while Madrid are countering with €100 million plus Fabio Coentrao.

QUICK KICKS

Liverpool midfielder Raheem Sterling has been charged with assault by the local authorities. The England Under-21 midfielder has plead not guilty. (REPORT)

Europa League clubs will earn a gross total of €208.75 million for participating this season. (REPORT)

Atletico Madrid youngster Koke has been selected by Vicente Del Bosque to be on Spain’s 21-man squad for their friendly next Wednesday at Ecuador. If he plays it would be his senior debut for La Roja. (REPORT)

Returned English Premier League side Crystal Palace have sold the naming rights to their stadium to 12Bet, an British gambling company. (REPORT)

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What do you make of these developments? Do you see Suarez forcing a move out? Do you see Pirlo leaving Juventus at the end of the season? Do you see Aguero featuring for Man City in their opener?

Share your thoughts below.

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