Football - Rodgers confident Suarez will stay

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is trying not to obsess too much about hanging on to Luis Suarez this summer, but remains confident his star striker will not be tempted by the bright lights of the Champions League.

PA Sport

The Uruguay international scored a hat-trick, after Stewart Downing had opened the scoring with a second-minute header, as Wigan were dispatched 4-0 at the DW Stadium.

Suarez took his tally in the Premier League to 21 - 28 for the season - and two ahead of Manchester United's Robin van Persie in the race for the golden boot.

But while his Dutch rival is guaranteed a place in Europe's elite competition the Reds forward will likely have to console himself with Europa League football at best next season as Rodgers' side are nine points adrift of fourth place.

Europe's heavyweights are bound to come calling in the summer in an attempt to lure Suarez away, but Rodgers remains upbeat.

"It is hard to say it is not important because it is as top players want to play at the top level," he said.

"There will always be interest in top players and he is a world class player.

"I speak regularly with Luis and I had a good meeting with his agent a few weeks ago who expressed how much he wants to be a part of things going forward.

"He has is a real affinity here with the players, he is a real leader within the group for us, the supporters adore him, he loves the city and I think he genuinely sees there is a bright future for us.

"It is one where it could have been easy for him to walk out last summer (he instead signed a new contract) but he didn't and he is very happy. Hopefully he can see these next couple of years will be very important years for the club and for him."

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