LONDON: Liverpool have bid £21m-plus for Atletico de Madrid’s Brazilian forward Diego Costa but denied that this means the possible exit of Luis Suarez.

Costa scored 20 goals in 44 matches for the Spanish club last season but the summer arrivals of strikers David Villa and Leo Baptistao have increased competition for places up front.

Manager Brendan Rodgers, who has money to spend, said: “Anyone we bring in has to be of the right quality, that’s the bottom line. We’ve got money to spend on getting that quality in, but if it’s not available I won’t waste it for the sake of bringing a player in.

“We’re really working hard to bring in the type of profile that can really help us push on.”

Liverpool see Costa as an important addition to their forward line and not a replacement for Luis Suarez, for whom Arsenal have had two bids rejected already.

Managing director Ian Ayre has stressed the club’s position on the Uruguay international has not changed and he is still not for sale, despite the Gunners’ believing their last bid of £40m plus £1 would be enough to trigger a selling clause in his contract.

Liverpool dispute this and their stance has not yet challenged by the player and his advisers.

Ayre added: “It’s not something we’re interested in and, as our fans would expect, we rejected both. Despite what people think we’ve not had an intention of selling Luis, we’ve never said we want to sell Luis.

“The player is not available for sale – that’s where we are and that’s where we’ll stay I wish I had £1 for everyone that’s stopped me in the street saying: ‘Make sure Luis stays.’ That’s what we’re doing.

“I’ll expect him to be here at the start of the season.”