The rumours of Luis Suarez's exit began surfacing round about the time that he was given a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic in April—it was the Uruguayan's second lengthy ban for a misdemeanour during his time in English football.
The forward has since sought to blame anyone and everyone for his desire to quit life on Merseyside, as shown in this Guardian report in which he suggests that the British media are trying to drive him out of the country.
As seen in the Daily Mail, Suarez has also rounded on British Prime Minister David Cameron during what has seemingly become an extended plea for sympathy and for an understanding of his desire to leave the Reds, with Real Madrid repeatedly linked with a move for him.
Suarez has made clear that he would find it "difficult to say no" to a switch to the Bernabeu should the opportunity for one appear―as seen here on the BBC website―but with Liverpool making it clear that they consider him not for sale, an uneasy stand-off between club and player has ensued.
Real have remained largely quiet so far, but the developments in the Suarez story are sure to go on and on...
He might be stationed in Brazil for the Confederations Cup, but the rumours of a switch to Madrid were always going to follow Suarez to South America.
However―and how much he sticks to his word will surely depend on if there is any progress with his intended move―Suarez has indicated that whilst at the tournament he will only focus on matters concerning Uruguay.
In an interview with Spanish newspaper Marca (h/t Sky Sports) he indicated that he only has one thought on his mind, saying:
"I've come to the Confederations Cup with my mind on Uruguay and not thinking about how it can help me with a transfer. My only goal is to win the trophy."
He was quickly back to attempting some more character redemption, though, indicating to the Spanish media that he isn't as bad a guy as their English counterparts often make him out to be:
"I have done things wrong, but I have recognised my mistakes and apologised. Obviously I would love to be valued more for my performances and not for one-off incidents."
Whilst they may still be putting a brave face on the prospect of last season's 30-goal top scorer leaving the club, Liverpool haven't let that get them down.
Indeed, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has been one of the busiest managers in the Premier League so far this summer, with the Reds securing a deal for defender Kolo Toure on a free transfer and agreeing a move in principle for the Celta Vigo forward Iago Aspas―a player compared to Suarez in his style of play.
Most tellingly ,though, Liverpool are reportedly looking to secure a couple of big-money deals just as Suarez appears even more set to leave.
According to this Guardian report, the Reds are getting closer to signing Sunderland and Belgium goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and, even more intriguingly, Shakhtar Donetsk's free-scoring midfielder, Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
The Armenian scored 25 goals in the Ukrainian Premier League last season and at £22 million would represent the kind of sizeable investment in the squad that Suarez has been crying out for.
Whether that's come too late remains to be seen.
Even though he'd be due four weeks off following Uruguay's involvement at the Confederations Cup, Suarez would reportedly forego them in order to meet with Rodgers and Reds chief executive Ian Ayre to try and force through his move.
Although this report from the Mirror contains no direct quotes, it indicates that Suarez would be ready to return to Liverpool when the players who aren't involved on international duty come back to the club on July 2―just two days after the Confederations Cup final.
With the report also claiming that Liverpool will become increasingly resigned to losing their star forward should he continue his transfer offensive, the Reds might be happy to see his move sorted out sooner rather than later.
That ban on talking about his transfer didn't last long did it?
In a story reported here in the Daily Mail, Suarez tells El Pais―perhaps tellingly, a Madrid-based newspaper―that he is "disturbed" that Liverpool aren't frequently rubbing shoulders with Europe's elite, albeit with a reiteration of his love for the Reds thrown in:
It disturbs me that Liverpool are not in the Champions League every season.
I’ve suffered at Liverpool, but when I think of what it represents to play for this club, and the love my daughter has - she sings the hymn - the hairs on the back of my neck stand up when I play at Anfield.
It wasn't long before the conversation turned to him playing for one of the biggest teams in Spain, and just what qualities he would bring to them as he added:
“I will give my soul every time I step on the pitch. I have done this with Uruguay, Ajax and Liverpool. I do not hold anything when I finish a game.”
Finally he let his transfer wish hit home once more, saying:
"Every player aspires (to be the best) and if you ask a child of eight years they would say one day they would go to Real Madrid or Barcelona."
Whilst most of the talk remains about a certain player leaving Liverpool, a man coming in wanted his say too.
Iago Aspas―who, as we read earlier, has agreed a deal in principle with the Reds―is on his way to Merseyside and is looking to make a name for himself, but not as a replacement for Suarez.
Indeed, the Spanish forward even wants the Uruguayan, one of several Spanish speakers at Anfield, to help him ease into his new life.
In this report in Metro, Aspas says:
Liverpool are one of the biggest clubs in the world and I am going there to take an important step in my career – not to be a replacement for anyone.
I am excited to be in England, I want to play in the Premier League, and I hope to be able to settle there and learn with help from the Spanish speakers at the club – including Luis Suarez.
Whilst Suarez has seemingly made all of the moves in this transfer saga so far, Liverpool have started to seek to take control of it according to a report.
In this Mirror report, it is indicated that the Reds could look to take young Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata, who is currently the top goalscorer at the European Under-21 Championships, as part of any deal to take Suarez to the Bernabeu.
The report also quotes the 20-year-old Spaniard claiming that he'll leave Real should they bring in a new forward, saying:
“If another striker is brought in, I will have to think about what’s best for me and consider leaving. If I go, I would prefer a move abroad.”
Liverpool would be sure to face competition for Morata's signature due to his success this summer, but the presence of the 20-year-old in a deal for Suarez could just suit all parties.
Suarez would have wanted to impress in Uruguay's Confederations Cup opener against Spain for a variety of reasons, but ultimately his team didn't get the ball for long enough for that to happen.
The Spanish swarmed all over the South Americans for the vast majority of the match, but Suarez was still to have his moment against a team full of players he'll hope to be playing both with and against in La Liga last season.
Just two minutes of the match remained when Suarez stepped up to a free-kick and curled a terrific effort over the wall and past goalkeeper Iker Casillas for Uruguay's consolation goal in their 2-1 defeat.
Where they watching at the Bernabeu?
Liverpool remain determined not to lose control of the Suarez saga, and as one report in The Independent states, they are ready to force their forward's hand.
The Reds are believed to be ready to demand that the Uruguayan hand in a transfer request if he remains determined to leave Anfield, and with that approach forcing Suarez into forgoing his right to a percentage of his sell-on fee, it would force him into action.
The move is seen as a chance to take control of the situation, and puts the ball firmly in Suarez's court.
Having brought his 17-year Liverpool career to an end at the closure of the 2012/13 season, Jamie Carragher is now concentrating on his new role as a television pundit.
It was no surprise, then, when the former defender had his own say on the Suarez situation, with this Metro report quoting Carragher claiming that Suarez wouldn't "sulk like Fernando Torres" if he didn't get his move away from the Reds this summer.
Torres's performances noticeably dipped in his final few months as a Reds player before he moved away, and Carragher criticised the Spaniard for what he saw as a lack of effort before he made his £50million switch to Chelsea in January 2011.
Suarez wouldn't react in the same way though, according to Carragher, with the Uruguayan's will to win ensuring that he'd still do his utmost for the Reds to succeed.
The latest Liverpool legend to have his say on the Suarez saga is former midfielder John Barnes, who claimed that Liverpool life will go on should the forward leave this summer.
Quoted in the Daily Express, Barnes claimed that he'd love for Suarez to stay with the Reds, but he's seen the club recover from losing similarly big name players in the past.
"What I always say, the club is the most important thing.
"If Luis Suarez doesn’t want to be at Liverpool, Liverpool will still survive. They’ve survived from Ian Rush [leaving], people before and people after."
Rafael Benitez retains a strong bond with Liverpool fans following his successes in the 2005 Champions League and 2006 FA Cup, but he could be ready to put that to the test with a move to take Suarez to his new club Napoli if this report from The Guardian is to be believed.
With Real Madrid supposedly interested in Suarez's Uruguay teammate Edinson Cavani as well as Suarez, Benitez is reportedly ready to make to take the Liverpool man to Serie A.
So far Suarez has only made clear that he would find it hard to say no to a move to Real Madrid (with Barcelona thrown in for good measure), and with Liverpool fans perhaps finding a move to Napoli harder to tolerate than one to a Spanish giant, the ball would certainly be in the Uruguayan's court should the Italian side's interest be firmed up with a bid.
Whilst Suarez continues to make the headlines, Liverpool haven't let that get in the way of their attempts to improve their attacking prowess this summer.
Following the arrival of Iago Aspas from Celta Vigo, the Reds have now gone shopping in Spain again with a £6million move for attacking midfielder Luis Alberto from Sevilla, with the Liverpool Echo claiming that the 20-year-old was on Merseyside for a medical on Friday.
Alberto spent last season on loan with Barcelona's B team, and he arrives at the club with a blossoming reputation.
Whatever happens with Suarez, Liverpool are making sure that they aren't left short of cover in attacking positions.
Real Madrid, and indeed Barcelona, have become masters of the transfer saga in recent years, as they draw out a deal for as long as possible in the hope that they can eventually get what they want.
According to a report in the Daily Mirror, that's exactly what Liverpool fear Real will do with Suarez, ensuring that the quick deal that the Reds want simply won't happen.
The Mirror quote an unnamed 'Liverpool insider' who said:
“Everyone here remembers how Real behaved in 2004, when they came in with a very late bid for Michael Owen after a summer of constant speculation. They got the player for £7m, which was a fraction of his real value.
“The difference is that Michael only had one year left on his contact while Luis has three.
“This time we feel we are negotiating from a position of strength rather than weakness, and the £40m clause in Luis’ contract would only give a club the right to speak to him."
Liverpool have been determined to show their strength throughout the whole Suarez situation, with manager Brendan Rodgers again reiterating that they are in control of their own player's future.
The Reds are determined not to be bullied, with Rodgers telling radio station talkSPORT that they aren't giving up without a fight.
“It’s quite simple. The club is in complete control of the situation.
“For me there is no real change in it [Luis Suarez’s future]. He’s away with the Uruguay squad at the moment and we’re messaging and what not.
“I will always listen to players. I always work closely with players and listen to their point of view but the biggest word is with the club."
Rodgers also pointed out that, whilst many headlines have been made from what Suarez has said about his desire to join Real, little has been made of his love for Liverpool.
The Northern Irishman continued:
“Sometimes interviews get put out there and highlighted, but parts of Luis’ interviews have been about how much he loves Liverpool, but of course that doesn’t get highlighted.
“It’s something that happens. I’m quite relaxed about it.”
“What I know is that the support Luis has had from the people here in Liverpool, the city and the football club, has been phenomenal and I know he feels that and respects that.
“We’re in a situation where we’ve got a player who we don’t want to lose. We’re trying to build something here and he’s a very important part of that and because of the type of player he is he will always give his best.”
Whilst Suarez has been vocal about his desire to leave life in England behind him, that apparently hasn't put off English clubs from looking at him.
New Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has, according to the Daily Express, targeted Suarez after discovering that the forward's Uruguay teammate Edinson Cavani would be too expensive even for City's vast riches.
The report indicates that, far from being upset at the link, Liverpool could use it to their advantage and look to create a bidding way between City, Real and perhaps even European Champions Bayern Munich.
Should Suarez stay true to his desire to leave England then he won't even consider an offer from City, but football has produced less surprising twists in the past.
Liverpool were busy over the weekend of 22nd-23rd June, confirming two new arrivals from La Liga to potentially soften the blow of Suarez moving the other way.
The signings of Luis Alberto and Iago Aspas had been mooted for some time, but after finally getting them over the line the Reds will now step up efforts to remodel their team further ahead of the new campaign.
With Andy Carroll having completed his move to West Ham, Fabio Borini impressing in the European Under 21s tournament and Daniel Sturridge no doubt looking to continue his impressive form from last season, Suarez will have a lot to think about should he continue to push for a move.
The career highlights section on Suarez's already impressive CV got even more attractive on Sunday evening, when he scored twice against Tahiti in the Confederations Cup to become his country's all-time leading goalscorer.
Suarez climbed off the bench late on to score two goals in Uruguay's 8-0 win over the minnows, with his 35th and 36th international goals helping ensure that his side headed through to an all-South American semi-final with hosts Brazil.
Just what else will feature on that CV come the end of the summer remains to be seen.
Up until now the club most frequently linked with Suarez didn't even have a manager, but Real Madrid put that right with the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti.
The Italian has won league titles in Italy, England and France with AC Milan, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain, as well as the Champions League with the former. With Ancelotti now in place at the Bernabeu, success could well follow.
And Suarez seemingly wants to be part of that success, particularly judging by a report in the Daily Star that the Uruguayan has already agreed terms with Real.
Such a move would indicate that the forward has made his mind up over where his future lies, but with the report also claiming that Real were not prepared to meet a £40million release clause in the Suarez's contract, and end to the saga doesn't seem in sight just yet.
Whilst he's away at the Confederations Cup in Brazil, the standoff over Suarez's future is only going to continue.
A late goal from Brazil's Paulinho in the semi-final ensured that his tournament will not end in success, and whilst he still has a third-place playoff against Italy to negotiate, and end could be in sight when the forward returns to Liverpool to hold talks with his manager.
Considering that he's their star player and was their top goalscorer last season, you'd have to say that Liverpool would have every right to be angry about stories that Suarez had agreed terms with another club without their consent.
According to this report in the Daily Telegraph, that's exactly what they are.
Claiming that the Reds are "furious", the report states that it is the publication of that rumour in Spanish newspaper Marca, widely considered to be the mouthpiece of Real Madrid, which has irked them so much.
With Liverpool no doubt seeking talks with Suarez as soon as possible, more stories such as this one look likely the longer this saga goes on.
Having already indicated that Suarez wouldn't sulk if he we to stay at Anfield, the Uruguayan's former teammate Jamie Carragher has had more to say on the matter, and indicated that he thinks the Reds will keep hold of the forward.
In this Daily Mail report, Carragher is quoted as saying:
“I think he might stay. Some big clubs will be interested in him because he is such a top player and that is something we have to accept.
“We can't complain about that, we bought him off Ajax.
“He signed a contract last summer and he has a few years left and hopefully we can keep him."
Carragher also underlined Suarez's importance to the Liverpool team, and hailed him as the best player in England last season, saying:
“He is very important. He was probably the best player in the Premier League last season and you want to be keeping your best players, which is what he is.”
Off the pitch, Liverpool's summer has largely been about quietly but effectively limiting their expenditure, with the potential sale of Suarez of course helping that.
Spain's all-time record goalscorer has been linked with an exit from Barcelona following the arrival of Brazil superstar Neymar at the Nou Camp, and the 31-year-old has attracted the interest of several top clubs.
Liverpool would be guaranteeing goals were they to add Villa to their ranks in ahead of the 2013/14 campaign, but a potential deal would be a huge surprise.
The closure of the Confederations Cup and the beginning of July is likely to herald more developments in the Suarez situation.
The forward played all 120 minutes and scored a penalty in Uruguay's shootout defeat to Italy in their third-place playoff Salvador, after which he is likely to be heading straight into uncomfortable talks with his club.
With the transfer window now officially open, Rodgers and the Reds will be eager to sit down their star man sooner rather than later.
Liverpool's stance on Suarez is seemingly never going to soften, and according to the Liverpool Echo they are ready to send him to the other side of the world to try and prove his loyalty.
The report claims that the Reds have told Suarez that he is to be back for club duty on Monday July 22, when he will be required to fly to Australia for Liverpool's friendly clash with Melbourne Victory two days later.
Following his involvement at the Confederations Cup he will miss Liverpool's opening friendly against Preston North End and their trip to Indonesia, the first leg of what will be a lucrative world tour.
Getting Suarez back on board is only going to increase those riches, and the Uruguayan certainly now knows where he stands.
Despite him previously claiming his disillusionment with life in England, that didn't get in the way of rumours linking Suarez to Manchester City (Slide 16), and so it was almost inevitable that other Premier League links would soon crop up.
The validity of the claims is very difficult to establish of course, and it is possible that the story was simply put out there to encourage the camp representing Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain to hurry up and conclude their negotiations with the Gunners.
Either way, it created a lot of excitement in the way that only a Suarez rumour can, and there was another one on the way...
Perhaps feeling left out, it was soon Chelsea's turn to be involved in a link with Suarez.
According to Spanish newspaper AS, whose report is deconstructed here on the website 101GreatGoals.com, Jose Mourinho is close to agreeing a deal to bring the Uruguayan to the Stamford Bridge club, against whom he scored at home and away last season.
Infamously of course it was another act against Chelsea in the match at Anfield, which could prove to be his last game for the club, that more people remember, but that isn't viewed as a potential stumbling block to what would be an unlikely move.
Perhaps the links with Chelsea and Arsenal have more to them than meets the eye, but they could also be used as bargaining tools with Suarez's real club of choice, Real Madrid, to help him smooth through a move to Spain.
So it turns out that Arsenal did have somewhat of a real interest after all.
As reported by the BBC, The Gunners made a £30million bid for Suarez which Liverpool "rejected out of hand."
Such a sum doesn't seem enough to prise the Uruguayan from Liverpool's clutches, and it is still unclear as to whether or not the forward wants to make the move to North London anyway.
Again, Arsenal seem to be using Suarez as a ploy to try and flush out Higuain, and perhaps already knew that the Reds would reject an offer which falls way below their price range.
Whatever the truth, the plot thickens...
After using his difficulties during life in the Premier League as one of the reasons he wishes to leave, Suarez instead turned the tables and hinted that he could stay in England in this report from the BBC.
In the wake of Arsenal's rejected bid, the forward said:
"It's good to know that after everything that's happened, teams in England still value me as a footballer.
"There are several options. There are two or three interested clubs and Liverpool know about this."
The quotes came from a Uruguayan radio station, with Sky Sports also reporting that Suarez is relaxed about his future.
"It's good to know that I am still valued by teams like Arsenal. Friends call me up to ask if I am moving to Chelsea, to which I laugh.
"Don't believe everything you read or hear! I am sometimes off the grid. I don't even know where my phone is sometimes."
Of all the questions that Kolo Toure would have been expecting to face on his unveiling as a Liverpool player, he'd have been expecting some on Suarez.
After all, everyone has had their say on the Uruguayan, and Toure seemed adamant that the forward would be better off at Anfield as opposed to the Emirates Stadium.
In this ESPN report, the free transfer signing says:
"Luis Suarez does not need to leave to fulfil his ambitions. "If he stays here he will have more chances to win trophies.
"This club is definitely prepared. The organisation, the mentality of the players and the staff. It's amazing. It's a top professional club. Luis is a great player, a fantastic player. He is a massive player for Liverpool.
"I have played against Suarez and he is a fantastic player, one you would want on your side, but in the end it will be up to the club to decide what they think is best for everybody."
According to this report in the Daily Telegraph, Arsenal haven't been put off by Liverpool's rejection of their opening offer for Suarez and are ready with another one.
Still frustrated in their chase for Gonzalo Higuain, Arsenal's approach for Suarez can be seen as an attempt to threaten Real Madrid's pursuit of the Liverpool man, but they don't look like going away any time soon.
The Reds are expected to reject all offers that don't top the £50million mark, with no desire at all to sell a player they have so publicly gone to war for.
The impasse continues...
Liverpool's determination to keep their star man hasn't been dulled despite the constant rumours surrounding him, a fact that manager Brendan Rodgers is all too keen to emphasise.
In an interview with radio station talkSPORT, published here on the Sky Sports website, the Reds boss revealed that he is in "constant communication" with the Uruguayan and he knows exactly what he wants.
"We communicate in some way nearly every day either through text or conversations. Over the course of the last few months and towards the end of the season there has been a lot of speculation with Luis, but the fact is it remains the same.
"We value the player. He had a terrific season for us last year and showed his qualities. Since then I've been in communication with him through texts and conversations on the phone and it [the situation] is pretty much the same. He is a valued player. He is an absolute magician on the field.
"Luis is a real competitor, a real winner. He wants Liverpool to do so well but, like every player, every manager, and more importantly every football club, they want to be working at the very highest level.
"At the minute he is on a break, he is relaxing with his family. We are in constant communication. He has got three years left on his contract, we don't want to sell him, and we hope everything will be fine for the summer.
"We want to bring in few more players to reinforce the group and we think we can put up a real fight next season."
With Suarez still in Uruguay, Liverpool life goes on without him.
Missing their star forward as he enjoys a break following the Confederations Cup, the Reds breezed to victory in their first pre-season friendly of the campaign away at Preston.
A Philippe Coutinho penalty, strikes either side of half-time from teenagers Jordon Ibe and Raheem Sterling and a debut goal for new forward Iago Aspas secured a 4-0 win, as Aspas, Simon Mignolet, Kolo Toure and Luis Alberto all donned a Liverpool shirt for the first time.
Suarez links up with the squad when they head off for their tour of Indonesia, Australia and Thailand, and he'll be joining a happy camp.
Still on holiday but still holding court to whoever will listen, Suarez again vented his feelings in this interview as reported by ESPN.
The Uruguayan once again indicated his desire to play in the Champions League, but interestingly he appeared to revert back to the "unhappy in England" line which seemingly hasn't dissuaded Arsenal and Chelsea from making their moves.
"If I receive an important offer to progress my career, I will study it. Some clubs have asked about me but I hand questions over to my agent. I am no stranger to rumours.
"I always want to improve. That's why I left Ajax for Liverpool. But this club needs to fight to enter the Champions League and, when it doesn't happen, it damages the morale of any player. So I've suffered.
"It is hard to view the Premier League every week with never a chance of winning it."
The forward then switched his attention to the controversies which have blighted his time at Liverpool, and again criticised the English media for the way they treat him.
"On top of that, the English media do not understand me. The controversies with [Patrice] Evra and [Branislav] Ivanovic were decisive. There are always extra questions when people analyse me.
"After the Evra incident, it was very difficult to convince people about the 'real' Luis Suarez. Things had improved but then the incident involving Ivanovic was another blow.
"Had that not happened, perhaps I would have been regarded as the best Premier League player last season."
A summer isn't complete without an Arsenal transfer saga or two, and this time they are determined to drag Liverpool into theirs for as long as possible.
According to Arsenal specialist John Cross in the Daily Mirror, the Gunners are now ready to up their bid for Suarez to £40m in an effort to get their man.
That will reportedly trigger a row between the Suarez camp and Liverpool, who apparently have differing interpretations of a clause in the Uruguayan's contract.
The Reds apparently believe that the clause means that if a club bids £40m they simply have to inform Suarez of the offer, perhaps leading to a transfer request from the forward should he wish to move.
Crucially this would mean that Suarez would be entitled to less money from the club, and with his camp believing that the contract clause means that Liverpool have to accept the £40m, an even more uncomfortable stand-off could ensue.
Liverpool have somewhat impressively assumed elements of control over this saga the longer it has gone on, and Brendan Rodgers chose a press conference in Jakarta ahead of the club's friendly against an Indonesian XI to issue his strongest words so far.
As reported by the Liverpool Echo, Rodgers feels that Suarez commands a transfer fee around the £55m that Paris Saint-Germain paid for his Uruguay teammate Edinson Cavani recently, and the Northern Irishman has claimed that Suarez owes it to the club and fans to stay with the Reds.
“For me it’s about the great supporters we have. The backing they have given him is absolutely brilliant.
“They have stood by him through thick and thin, and through all the traumas he has gone through over the last couple of seasons.
“If there is anyone he owes it’s them and his team-mates, who have fought beside him, certainly not me.”
Rodgers then claimed that Arsenal's offer was way below what Liverpool value the player at, and that the club would be determined to hold onto him even if that offer was increased.
“I don't want to set a deadline or put a date on it but this is not something that will run too long. We are totally in control of the situation. It is one where we don't have to sell. He has got three years left on his contract.
“We are prepared to get some players in and spend money without having to sell Luis Suarez. The reality is that we have had one offer.
“There can be as much speculation as you like, but there has been nothing beyond that.
“It was an offer for what they (Arsenal) considered his value and worth. Obviously for a player of his quality, when you consider that Cavani has gone for £55million you know… Luis is up there in that bracket of top talent.
“Obviously it was an offer we didn’t deem worthy of the talent and even if they came back with that kind of amount (£55million) there’s no guarantee he would be sold even for that because we are trying to build something here.
“We don't want to sell Luis Suarez as we are just trying to improve the squad. You come into Liverpool, one of the giants of the world, and even though we are not where we want to be yet, we are on our way there, no question about that.
“The club is on its way back. There’s massive competition and a massive challenge but we don’t want to be disabling ourselves by selling players to another club, we want to keep our best ones here.
“Luis is a very important member of this squad and one of the top strikers in the world. Unless something drastic happens, he will be staying here.
“We are looking forward to him helping us try to get into the Champions League spots. That's a competition we are fighting to get into. The great name and history of Liverpool dictates it should be in there.”