LIVERPOOL are confident that Luis Suarez won’t face retrospective punishment from UEFA following Thursday night’s Europa League exit at the hands of Zenit St Petersburg.
The Russians accused the Reds striker (right) of deliberately stepping on Tomas Hubocan after the defender fell to the ground while trying to shepherd the ball out for a goal-kick towards the end of a dramatic second leg at Anfield.
However, Suarez insisted it was purely accidental and having reviewed the footage Liverpool believe their top scorer has no case to answer.
Neither referee Bjorn Kuipers nor the additional assistant behind the goal saw anything untoward and a free-kick wasn’t given.
UEFA could impose a three-match ban for violent conduct if Kuipers asks them to review the incident in his match report, but with the Dutch official well placed at the time the Reds don’t expect any repercussions.
Suarez’s stunning brace against Zenit took his tally for the season to 25 goals and reinforced his importance to Liverpool.
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini yesterday expressed his admiration for the Uruguayan ahead of a summer of rebuilding at Eastlands.
After such an impressive campaign, Suarez is bound to attract interest from clubs across Europe but the Reds have no intention of selling their prized asset.
Kop legend Alan Kennedy insists whatever offers are put on the table this summer they must be rebuffed.
Kennedy said: “I’m not sure there’s a club around who could afford to buy Suarez. How much is he worth? He’s priceless.
“His value to the club is massive. He’s a one-off. Of course he’s ambitious and wants to win trophies but hopefully he will see he can do that at Anfield.
“From the club’s point of view, you can’t afford to allow your best players to leave. We’re building for the future and we need to retain our top talent.
“If we finish this season with a great run it will give Suarez extra belief that the club is going in the right direction.”
For the full interview with Alan Kennedy see inside today’s Football Echo.