Luis Suarez Staying at Liverpool Despite Real Madrid Talk, Hails Steven Gerrard

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistMay 16, 2014

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 05:  Luis Suarez of Liverpool looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Liverpool at Selhurst Park on May 5, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Luis Suarez has confirmed he is committed to Liverpool, despite continued suggestions he will leave for Real Madrid, saying he loves being at such an "unbelievable" club.

"I signed the contract because I love it here and I'm so happy here. If you're not happy here you don't sign any contract," Suarez revealed to Sky Sports News.

The elusive striker also hailed Steven Gerrard for his role in keeping him at Anfield, calling the captain "the best player in the Liverpool history." Last summer, Gerrard played a key role in ensuring Suarez stayed with the Reds' developing squad. 

Brendan Rodgers, who will be mightily grateful the Englishman managed to be so convincing, also believes Suarez will remain at Liverpool next season and suggests the Uruguayan striker "will be a big part of the future here."

NORWICH, ENGLAND - APRIL 20:  Luis Suarez of Liverpool is challenged by Bradley Johnson of Norwich City during the Barclays Premier League match between Norwich City and Liverpool at Carrow Road on April 20, 2014 in Norwich, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDo
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo reported another set of comments the Anfield faithful will love to hear. Suarez, who has joined up with his international teammates ahead of next month's World Cup, is going nowhere, according to Rodgers:

The last conversation I had with Luis we spoke a lot and I know he is very happy here. He has had a marvellous season. He has picked up all the awards - ones that were very important to him from his peers.

He's contributed massively to our success this season and he is happy in the Premier League. He has turned a corner in terms of how he’s perceived in England. Of course in football you can’t promise anything but I am confident Luis will be a big part of the future here.

Liverpool's last summer transfer window was dominated by suggestions of Suarez leaving. The player pleaded to be let go after suffering a difficult season in England—one that highlighted him as a Premier League badboy—due to a number of incidents including the biting of Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic.

Suarez settled down this year and focused on helping Liverpool to an impressive second place. Although his tears during the 3-3 capitulation against Crystal Palace will endure, so will his Golden Boot, PFA Player of the Year award and Football Writers' Association accolades. The 31-goal hero has proven himself one of the world's best, ensuring high demand across the continent.

The player was recently asked about joining either Real Madrid or Barcelona, the former of which was called Suarez's "dream club" by Uruguay teammate Edinson Cavani. Suarez confirmed his contract isn't geared toward letting him leave if one of the La Liga giants launches a bid, saying, "there is no clause that suggests a priority for a specific team," per Sid Lowe of the Guardian.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 30:  Luis Suarez of Liverpool competes with Danny Rose of Tottenham Hotspur during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on March 30, 2014 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Liv
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

This comes on the back of suggestions Madrid will offer £70 million for the player's services, per Chris Richards of the Mirror. After the season Suarez has had, this figure would likely fall short of Rodgers' evaluation. The Northern Irishman previously confirmed Suarez is "certainly on his way" to costing £100 million, per Sky Sports.

Arsenal's bid of £40 million-plus-one fell on deaf ears last summer, and former Gunners star Ray Parlour believes "he has probably trebled in price," per Jack Wilson of the Daily Star.

Rodgers admires Suarez's attitude improvement and output on the pitch, but he also believes the former Ajax player has positively impacted his own management style.

"I know for however long I am at Liverpool, whenever I leave I will have become a better manager and a better person because of Luis Suarez and for that I thank him so much," said Rodgers, according to Simon Peach of the Press Association and via the Daily Mail.

CARDIFF, WALES - MARCH 22:  Luis Suarez (3R) of Liverpool is congratulated by his manager Brendan Rodgers (L) at the final whistle after scoring a hat trick during his teams 6-3 victory during the Barclays Premier League match between Cardiff City and Liv
Michael Steele/Getty Images

It's exciting the manager feels this way about his star. Rodgers and Suarez's ability to positively bounce off each other will be a pivotal ingredient for any Liverpool success. Their relationship, and indeed Suarez's happiness, can only mean good things for a squad that has a real shot at next season's title.

Should Rodgers continue to flex his tactical nous, and round up a number of key signings in the transfer market, you can bet Liverpool will be in the hunt for silverware throughout the 2014-15 campaign. Suarez's form provides the base on which the club can excel, meaning the Reds always have a shot if he remains on Merseyside.