Luis Suarez & Patrice Evra set to shake hands at Anfield

19 September 2012 Last updated at 11:25 GMT

Liverpool and Manchester United are confident Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra will shake hands before Sunday’s Premier League match at Anfield.

Officials from both clubs have been in talks as they finalise plans to mark the release of the Hillsborough report.

But any fears of a possible flashpoint regarding Evra and Suarez, who was banned for eight matches for racially abusing the United defender last season, appear to have been allayed, with both clubs stressing the need for all players to respect the occasion.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has already said his club will support Liverpool in “every way” they can.

There will be a number of tributes on Sunday.

Captains Steven Gerrard and Nemanja Vidic will release 96 balloons shortly before kick-off in memory of those who died in the 1989 tragedy.

There will also be several crowd mosaics:

  • "The Truth" will be displayed on the Kop
  • "Justice" on the Lower Centenary Stand
  • "96" on the Anfield Road end

"It is going to be a very emotional day," Ferguson said. "We will support them in every way we can. We are supportive of Liverpool."

United have already criticised a section of their supporters who took part in anti-Liverpool taunts during Saturday’s fixture against Wigan.

The chants at Old Trafford, which included the words “it’s never your fault, always the victims”, were first sung in the immediate aftermath of the Suarez-Evra racism incident.

The Manchester United Supporters’ Trust have since rejected suggestions the chants were referencing Hillsborough.

But Ferguson said United chief executive David Gill had been upset by the incident.

"I didn’t hear it on Saturday, but others did, particularly in the directors’ box. David Gill was disappointed," said the Scot.

"It is a new chant that only started after the Suarez situation. It is a minority. But in society there is a minority wanting to be heard."

The recent Hillsborough report cleared Liverpool fans of blame for the deaths of 96 supporters during an FA Cup semi-final tie between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest in April 1989.

"We understand what those families must have felt when they got that report," added Ferguson, whose side play a Champions League group game against Galatasaray on Wednesday.

United will wear black armbands during the match in honour of the two policewomen, PC Fiona Bone and PC Nicola Hughes, who were killed while on duty in the Greater Manchester area on Tuesday.

"We are all deeply saddened by the tragic loss of two young policewomen protecting our community," said Ferguson.

"Fiona and Nicola were highly valued members of Greater Manchester Police and the local community. Our thoughts and prayers are now with their families and friends at this devastatingly sad time."

Liverpool are also involved in European action this week. They play Young Boys in a Europa League group match on Thursday.


Uruguay's Luis Suarez arrives for a news conference at the team's headquarters in the outskirts of Montevideo, September 9, 2012. Uruguay will face Ecuador in a 2014 World Cup qualifying soccer match on Tuesday.

Uruguay's Luis Suarez smiles during a news conference at the team's headquarters in the outskirts of Montevideo, September 9, 2012. Uruguay will face Ecuador in a 2014 World Cup qualifying soccer match on Tuesday.

Caceres: Suarez has asked me about Juventus

May 31, 2012 12:05:00 PM

The Uruguayan defender has admitted that he has been in touch with his compatriot about the Old Lady, but added the attacker is happy on Merseyside for now.

Martin Caceres - Juventus (Getty Images)
Getty Images

Martin Caceres has revealed that Liverpool star Luis Suarez has asked him about Juventus, before adding that the tricky attacker is happy at Liverpool for now.

A number of recent reports suggest that the Old Lady are keen to sign Suarez, and although can confirm that the attacker is not an option for Juve at this point, the Uruguay international does take an interest in the Serie A champions.

"It’s true that Luis and I have talked about Juventus. He has asked me about the club without going into any details," Caceres stated to Tuttosport.

"I told him that Juventus are a team that always want to win. He liked what I told him about the club, but he’s happy at Liverpool at the moment."

The 25-year-old Suarez has a contract with the Reds until June 2016, and the Premier League side are keen to offer him a new and improved deal.


Liverpool striker Suarez: I have not spoken to Barcelona or Real Madrid

21 May 2012 10:35:00

By David Lynch

The Uruguayan has endured a turbulent season on Merseyside but is committed to staying with the Reds this summer as they search for a replacement for Kenny Dalglish.

EPL,Luis Suarez,Norwich City v Liverpool
Getty Images

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has dismissed rumours he is targeting a summer move to Spanish giants Real Madrid or Barcelona.

The Reds lifted the League Cup and reached the FA Cup final this season but stuttered to a disappointing eighth-placed finish in the Premier League.

Suarez was also embroiled in personal controversy after receiving an eight-game ban for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra during a game at Anfield in October.

However, he insists he is not targeting a move to La Liga, despite quotes from him this week appearing to suggest he would like to play there one day.

"Being honest, I have never talked to anyone from Barca or Real Madrid," he told the Liverpool Echo.

"If the rumours are to be believed I would have already played for 20 teams."

Despite manager Kenny Dalglish losing his job as a result of the poor league campaign, the Uruguayan claims the Reds have still had a good season, given their cup runs.

"Liverpool have had a good season and we got to two cup finals," he added.

"In the Premier League we did not finish as high as expected, but positive things have been taken."

The 25-year-old also hailed his current club and thanked them for their support during a turbulent year.

He continued: “Liverpool is a 10/10 club for the support they give the players. I am very grateful to the club for giving me the opportunity to play in the Premiership.”


Man City lead race for RvP: Juve abandon chase for Arsenal star and switch sights to Suarez and Dzeko

By John Cross 21 May 2012 22:30

Manchester City remain in pole position to sign the Dutchman from Arsenal

City bound? Robin van Persie may have played his last game for ArsenalCity bound? Robin van Persie may have played his last game for Arsenal
Bryn Lennon / Getty

Robin van Persie is in danger of pricing himself out of a move this summer.

Italian giants Juventus are ready to switch targets to Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, Manchester City’s Edin Dzeko and Real Madrid’s Gonzalo Higuain because they fear they will miss out on van Persie.

But Manchester City, who have made van Persie their top target, are also preparing to play hard ball as they are likely to offer around £15m if a deal can be done.

City remain in pole position but will not get dragged into a bidding war on transfer fee and contract with Manchester United also watching developments.

Real Madrid and Barcelona have yet to come in for him. Jose Mourinho is a fan but may have to sell Higuain first to fund a move.

Juventus have sounded out van Persie’s representatives and see the Dutchman as a stellar signing but are beginning to look elsewhere as they do not want to miss out on a big name altogether.

But Juve are also now widening their net and that could be a worry for Liverpool as Suarez is on their hit list despite his public declarations that he is not looking to leave.

Kop off? Could Suarez be tempted to leave for Juventus?Suarez had a controversial season at Anfield but several clubs may test Liverpool’s resistance and Juventus could be the first.

Real Madrid are also keeping tabs even though they will have to sell before they can buy.

But van Persie’s future is unlikely to be resolved quickly and it is clear that Juventus believe they could be fighting a losing battle to tempt the Dutchman.

Even though Italian football has lost some of its appeal and prestige, Juventus hope to tempt a megastar this summer.

Van Persie, 28, was their first choice and they are prepared to pay up to £25m and £180,000-a-week to get Arsenal’s top scorer.

Juventus sporting director Giuseppe Marotta has already gone public and declared their interest in van Persie and called him the “complete player.”

But Marotta has also not hidden his interest in Suarez and Higuain and the Italians do not want to be kept waiting on van Persie which can only be good news for Arsenal.

Ironically, Juventus’s other option is Dzeko who finished the season at City a frustrated player and yet if he went to Turin then it could end up paving the way for van Persie to go to the Etihad.

Smiling but not happy: Edin Dzeko is agitating for a moveArsenal for a long time feared Real Madrid would be van Persie’s most obvious suitors but they and Barcelona have yet to make a move.

Arsenal remain determined to keep van Persie and have offered him £130,000-a-week plus a £5m signing on fee to stay.

But it promises to be another saga as van Persie wants to win trophies and has made it clear he will not re-sign and intends to keep his options open.

Arsenal are determined not to give up on van Persie and the Dutchman has also kept his future top secret from his team mates.

It could also mean that Arsenal are still determined to make van Persie see out the final year of his contract even if he does not want to sign a new deal and wants to leave.

Arsenal insist they will and cannot ban van Persie from talking to the media about his future at the Euros - it is a merry go round which threatens to last some time yet.

If van Persie moves abroad he’ll still be an Arsenal legend; go to Manchester and he’ll be hated as a traitor.


Evra ‘proud’ after tough season

May 16, 2012

By ESPN staff

Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has spoken of his pride after what he feels has been the most difficult season of his career.

Patrice Evra adds to the controversy at Old Trafford by celebrating in front of Luis Suarez
GettyImagesPatrice Evra adds to the controversy at Old Trafford by celebrating in front of Luis Suarez

As well as the infamous Luis Suarez affair and losing the Premier League title race to Manchester City in the final seconds of the season, Evra also had to come to terms with the death of his 42-year-old brother.

"What’s happened to me this year, personal things, have been really tough,” Evra told BBC Radio Manchester. "I know people will think I’m only saying this because we’ve lost the title but this is the most difficult season I’ve ever had for Manchester United.

"Before the game against Manchester City in October my dad called to tell me I’d just lost my brother. Nothing can be more difficult than that to find out before a big game. When you add the Suarez case as well, I am very proud of myself.

"I’ve been stronger mentally than ever before. To keep going and to play every game is just amazing. I know that’s not the way a Manchester United player should talk when you don’t win the league. It sounds like I’m finding an excuse. But it’s the truth.

"I don’t want to lie to people. This year has been so difficult. Sometimes bad things can happen to you in your life, but you need to keep a cool head and be strong.

"In your life you have good and bad experiences but the most important thing is how you react, and I think I reacted in a good way. That’s why I’m proud of myself.”

Evra was also asked about the Suarez incident, and the way he celebrated when United beat Liverpool in their first meeting after the racism case hit the headlines.

"The whole thing was so difficult,” he said. "People thought my celebration at the end of the Liverpool game was because Suarez had abused me, but it was more than that. I wanted say thanks to my team-mates. I know everybody was playing to win for Manchester United, but it was also a little bit for me.

"That game was the most pressure I’ve ever felt in my life - and all to do with shaking his hand. It was very difficult to decide what to do before the game. Many people would never try to shake his hand. But I tried and he refused. For me, it was like, ‘What’s going on?’"