Ian Ayre Reveals Latest on Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard Liverpool Futures

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistApril 7, 2014

10ThingstoSeeSports - Liverpool's Steven Gerrard celebrates with teammate Luis Suarez, right, after scoring against Manchester United during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Sunday March 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Jon Super, File)
Jon Super

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre has reiterated the club's desire to keep Luis Suarez at Liverpool, while also denying Steven Gerrard has inked a two-year extension to his current contract.

Although Ayre expects clubs to "rattle" Suarez with interest every transfer window, he suggested the Uruguayan striker will remain on Merseyside during an interview with the BBC, via ESPN FC:

We love having him as part of the club and I know he loves being here so we would expect that to carry on. We don't want to sell Luis Suarez and we've been consistent with that in every transfer window since he came here.

We are a team on the up and he is a fundamental part of what we are trying to achieve. We would never wantonly sell Luis Suarez.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 06:  James Tomkins of West Ham handles the ball whilst defending against Luis Suarez of Liverpool to concede a penalty to Liverpool during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Liverpool at Boleyn Ground on
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Suarez's 29 goals in 28 Premier League games have put Liverpool on the brink of their first title win since 1990. The Reds are currently two points clear of Chelsea and four in front of Manchester City, the latter of whom have two games in hand to negotiate after they visit Anfield on Sunday.

The output of Suarez and Daniel Sturridge—affectionately known as the "SAS"—has kept Liverpool in the hunt for silverware all season. Suarez's current dominance as the Premier League's top scorer is a far cry from the player who bit Branislav Ivanovic last season, or was charged with racially abusing Patrice Evra back in 2011.

Suarez has emerged as a real leader on the pitch. Despite a collectively slow display during the first half of Liverpool's recent win over West Ham, it was Suarez who gave the team their initiative when his mazy run saw James Tomkins concede a penalty. He also crashed the crossbar twice with two inspired efforts in a match that saw Liverpool exert patience rather than all-out attack.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 06:  Steven Gerrard of Liverpool in action during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Liverpool at Boleyn Ground on April 6, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Gerrard notched both penalties during the tight win, but Ayre suggested to BBC Radio Five the captain is yet to commit (via ESPN FC):

It is not a discussion we have had, but it is not because it isn't a discussion we won't have. He is part of the heartbeat of this club and, as long as Steven wants to be here and we want him to be here, it won't be a difficult conversation, but it is not one we've had recently.

Despite playing a more considered role in the heart of Liverpool's midfield this season, Gerrard's importance has come to the fore across recent weeks. The skipper has notched eight goals in nine games, including a duo of penalties against both Manchester United and West Ham. Gerrard also scored penalties against Arsenal and Southampton during this run, per WhoScored.com.

He believes Liverpool still have a long way to go before they can consider capturing the title, as he told Sky Sports 1 (via John Drayton of the Daily Mail):

"I am not convinced (Liverpool will win the league) just yet," he said. "We have very hard games to go; we've got a huge game next week. We've got to give everything we can."

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 16:  Steven Gerrard of Liverpool celebrates scoring the first goal with his team-mates during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 16, 2014 in Manchester, England.
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

It is difficult to imagine Liverpooland indeed the club's successwithout Gerrard playing some role. The Englishman has stuck by his side no matter what and is deserving of at least one Premier League title in his career.

While Suarez and Sturridge's tricky natures ensure Gerrard has received plenty of opportunities to score set-pieces this year, the 33-year-old has the nerve to consistently take advantage. He will undoubtedly be a key figure during Liverpool's last five games, and indeed, has an opportunity to score the goals that could send Brendan Rodgers' team to ultimate glory.

With their two most important stars settled, it seems Liverpool fans can begin to dream. Ayre's comments suggest neither player is going anywhere soon, a triumph that could be as important to the development of the side as landing the Premier League trophy in the next month.