The ten-match ban meted out to Luis Suarez by the English FA following his biting of Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic has led to another round of speculation the Uruguayan striker could seek to leave over the summer. All the old rumours of the past year have been given a boost, and seemingly debunked suggestions he could be headed to Juventus or Bayern Munich or Atletico Madrid have once again gained momentum.
The club have gone out of their way to signal they still see Suarez as part of their long-term plans, with manager Brendan Rodgers and managing director Ian Ayre both issuing statements of intent. Yet even if the club remain loyal to Suarez in the face of this latest controversy, some wonder if the striker may simply have had his fill of life in England and so would push for a move to the continent should the opportunity arise.
"I have been with Luis almost every day since what happened," Lucas said of his teammate and friend, providing a sliver of insight into Suarez' mental state in the days since he learned his moment of madness would result in ten games on the sidelines. "He’s okay now. He knows that he will have to miss a few games but he will come back strongly from this.
"He will try to come back as a better footballer if possible and a better person too. We hope that he can relax now and really work on things he thinks he can improve on. As players, we are all right behind him. He’s an important player for this club and he’s also a person who we have to help."
Unfortunately for Liverpool fans, while Lucas can speak to Suarez' immediate situation, he insists he's no better off than anybody else when it comes to knowing what the striker might have in mind when it comes to his future—though he does believe that Suarez loves the club, and that all of Suarez' teammates will be hoping that he sticks it out at Anfield.
"I haven’t discussed his future with him," Lucas explained. "We don’t talk about it as that’s his private business. I can’t tell what he has in mind but he has a contract and I think every player here is looking forward to next season.
"The fact the fans sung his name so much at St James’ Park just showed the love they have for Luis [and] for sure he loves this club as well. We all hope Luis will still be a Liverpool player next season."