Liverpool and United to hold talks

PA Sport
Old Trafford
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Old Trafford

Liverpool are set to hold board-level talks with Manchester United in an attempt to restore good relations and defuse growing tensions ahead of next month's meeting at Old Trafford.

The match has become a focal point as it is likely to be Luis Suarez's first away from Anfield following the end of his eight-match suspension for racially abusing United's Patrice Evra.

The two north-west clubs have enjoyed cordial relations off the pitch in recent years, but those have been strained during the three-month investigation and subsequent punishment of Suarez. However, Press Association Sport understands the Merseysiders are keen to rebuild bridges now they and the Uruguay international have accepted the punishment.

They will start with their arch-rivals with talks likely between top executives, although the club have not ruled out the possibility of discussions taking place between American owners John Henry, who also heads up the Boston Red Sox baseball franchise, and Malcolm Glazer, who owns NFL side Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

A spokesman for Henry declined to comment on the Suarez matter, choosing instead to stand behind the club's lengthy statement on Tuesday evening in which Liverpool criticised the Football Association for constructing "a highly subjective case against Luis Suarez based on an accusation that was ultimately unsubstantiated".

While attempting to re-establish their previously positive relationship with United, Liverpool will also continue dialogue with the FA as they seek to smooth over cracks which appeared during the fractious period once Evra made his allegations in mid-September.

Liverpool were unhappy with the manner of the investigation and believe the process is flawed.

Their statement in midweek said: "The FA and the panel chose to consistently and methodically accept and embrace arguments leading to a set of conclusions that found Mr Suarez to 'probably' be guilty while in the same manner deciding to completely dismiss the testimony that countered their overall suppositions."

However, in the wake of Suarez issuing an apology - though not to Evra - for any offence his use of the word "negro" may have caused, Liverpool want to now draw a line under the matter.

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