Rodgers relaxed over Suarez contract talks

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Keeping calm: Rodgers says the Suarez situation 'will all take care of itself'.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is confident that Luis Suarez's contract extension "will take care of itself".

It was reported on Wednesday that the Reds managing director, Ian Ayre, had begun preliminary talks with the Uruguayan player's agent, with the hope the club could tie their star striker down to a new deal.

The contract extension is speculated to make Suarez the best paid player in Liverpool history, with an offer of around £200,000 per week believed to be in the offing.

Rodgers insists that all discussions will remain private, however he is hopeful that he can build the team around the 26-year-old.

"There's nothing to report on that [the Suarez contract extension]. Contractually, with any players, it is private so at the minute he is just focusing on his football," said the Liverpool boss.

"We're just concentrating on the football, on performance levels and improving.

"I think it will all take care of itself.

"There's no rush at this moment in time, he's a player we want to keep here and build a team around in the next couple of years."

Suarez has been the Merseyside club's standout performer this season, netting 17 goals in 12 games.

Rodgers was a quick to point out that the former Ajax striker's attitude, both on and off the pitch, has impressed him just as much as his goal scoring exploits.

Suarez captained Liverpool in their 5-0 win over Tottenham on Sunday, a indication of just how highly regarded the Uruguayan is by the club.

"He is maturing, accepting the role and responsibility I've given him at the club," said Rodgers.

"He is one of the pillars of the group, for me.

"He's in a good place and long may it continue. He is a humble man with a unique desire to win games.

"If you judge him on his football, he is up there with the world's best."

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Dzeko ready to fill Aguero void for Man City

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Tall order: Dzeko believes he can replace the injured Aguero.

Edin Dzeko has admitted that Sergio Aguero's injury is a blow for Manchester City, but he can fill the void.

Aguero is expected to be out for around eight weeks after picking up a calf injury in the 6-3 win over Arsenal last weekend.

The Argentine striker is City's top scorer this season, having netted 19 goals in 20 games.

Dzeko admits that Aguero's presence will be missed, however he added that Manuel Pellegrini's side have enough quality in their squad to cope with the loss.

"Sergio has had an amazing season, scoring a lot of goals, and he is an important player for us," Dzeko told the Daily Mirror.

"That's life, and now we have to try to play games without him, and try to win.

"This is very bad for the team, but there are a lot of players who want to play."

Dzeko showed he is capable of covering for City's top scorer by scoring a brace in the club's Capital One Cup victory over Leicester City on Tuesday.

Buoyed by his performance, the Bosnian confirmed he is determined to maintain his form.

"I am happy to score two [against Leicester] – that's my job," added Dzeko.

"I hope it means I am back among the goals. When I'm playing, I'm trying always to score goals.

"I am a striker that has scored goals all my life, and I love to do it. When I get a chance I try to do my best.

"We have a superb squad and recently have scored a lot of goals."

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Mourinho considers return to old ways in bid to stop away blues

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In two minds: Mourinho is struggling to bring all the parts together.

Jose Mourinho could be on a collision course with Chelsea’s owner, Roman Abramovich, after admitting he may have to dilute the team’s current cavalier style.

Mourinho saw the League Cup, the first trophy he won after becoming manager for the first time at Stamford Bridge, slip out of view on another night of frustration at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday.

The Chelsea manager could not hide his growing unease with the kind of football that has been demanded by Abramovich after another defeat away from home, the fourth time this season he has lost to English opposition.

Mourinho was supposed to be able to blend the creative talents that had been assembled in recent years when he took over for the second time in the summer.

The 50-year-old has inherited a squad laden with potential creativity in the likes of Eden Hazard, Willian, Andre Schurrle, Juan Mata, Oscar and Kevin De Bruyne.

Mourinho’s remit was to fit the lavish talents into a team capable of winning trophies but four defeats on the road in games his side dominated for long periods have raised questions about whether he can deliver Abramovich’s vision.

“If I want to win 1-0 I can. It is one of the easiest things in football, it is not difficult,” he said. “You organise from the defensive idea. You don’t give freedom to your players to express themselves. I don’t want to do it but I am giving serious consideration to it.”

In his first season, Chelsea won 13 games 1-0 in all competitions. So far they have won just a single match by that scoreline, against Steaua Bucharest last week.

Any change in style back to that more pragmatic football now, whether subtle or more blatant from Mourinho, will sit uncomfortably with Abramovich’s grand plan of reinventing Chelsea.

Mourinho refused to criticise his players directly for squandering more opportunities on Tuesday, but the strike force of Samuel Eto’o, Demba Ba and Fernando Torres (in the absence of Romelu Lukaku, on loan at Everton) seems to lack the cutting edge to deliver the kind of football demanded by Abramovich.

Missed chances were again key in the quarter-final extra-time defeat to Sunderland, whose midfielder Seb Larsson said: “We just never gave up. The first half was pretty even. They had a good spell but you just have to stick in there.”

© The Independent

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