Solskjaer and Fernandes laud Man Utd attacking talent
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The phone call Brendan Rodgers made to convince Luis Suarez to stay at Liverpool shows why Manchester United have put the Northern Irishman on their shortlist to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Rodgers spent just over three years at Anfield, joining ahead of Suarez’s third season with the Reds.
Though he failed to win any major trophies with Liverpool, Rodgers was able to transform the team into Premier League title contenders.
He earned recognition for playing an attractive brand of football, being named the LMA’s manager of the season in 2014.
Since being replaced by Jurgen Klopp on Merseyside, Rodgers has had successful spells at Celtic and Leicester City, leading the latter to the FA Cup last season.
His work throughout his managerial career has seen him consistently linked with jobs at top six clubs in recent years.
One of the clubs understood to be interested in him is United, with doubts still remaining over the suitability of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for the Old Trafford dugout.
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Solskjaer was able to guide the Red Devils to a comfortable win over Tottenham on Saturday, ending a run of four successive league games without a win.
But the Norwegian still has much to prove that he is still the right man to lead United back to the top of the Premier League.
The Red Devils had flirted with the idea of appointing Antonio Conte, though such a move now looks unlikely.
Instead, it is Rodgers who has become the favourite to replace Solskjaer if he is sacked and a conversation he had with Suarez at the start of his Liverpool tenure makes clear why that is.
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Suarez had attracted the interest of several clubs, but Rodgers convinced him to stay at Liverpool by describing his plans for the club.
“I think I’d been at Liverpool for a year and a half when Brendan took charge in July 2012. Back then, I had opportunities to sign for other clubs who were getting in contact with me,” Suarez told UEFA.com.
“But he phoned me when I was in Uruguay on holiday, to tell me that he had another way of thinking, that he wanted to change the club and its philosophy.
“That he wanted the club to get back in the Champions League and fight to win big trophies, that he was going to make the team play great football. He asked me to believe and trust him.”
And Suarez made it clear that that talk with Rodgers is what led to him staying on Merseyside for another two years.
“I enjoyed that chat. I liked his conviction, the philosophy he wanted to implement at the club,” the Atletico Madrid striker added.
“So, I talked to my agent and the club to say that I didn’t want to leave, that I wanted another opportunity to be successful at Liverpool.
“That year wasn’t as good as we wanted, but ideas were already pretty clear.”
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