Luis Suarez has revealed that Steven Gerrard talked him out of making a controversial move from Liverpool to Arsenal in the summer of 2013.
Having taken in a turbulent 18 months at Anfield which had seen him charged with racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra and biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, the enigmatic frontman wanted out.
Arsene Wenger was prepared to offer the Uruguayan a route to north London and tabled a now-infamous bid of £40,000,001 in the understanding that a release clause could be triggered.
Liverpool, though, refused to enter into negotiations and, having initially been keen on heading to Emirates Stadium, Suarez was eventually persuaded to remain on Merseyside by Liverpool skipper Gerrard.
The man who went on to land the PFA Player of the Year award with the Reds before heading to Barcelona in 2014, told Otro of a saga which almost took him to Arsenal: "We qualified for the UEFA Europa League but the season ended badly.
"I'm about to go to Arsenal, forcing myself to go, and Steven tells me 'I promise that if you stay this year you're going to take off and next year you'll go to Bayern, Barcelona, Real Madrid or whichever one you want, but stay this year because you won't be better off at Arsenal'."
"This was the last conversation I had with Gerrard at that moment and I told my agent that I had made my decision and I was staying.
"His words convinced me in that moment. They came from a person who cared for me, who wanted my well-being, who saw me suffer during training and saw me sad.
"They were words from a true captain that had an impact in that moment and helped me a lot."
Suarez was involved in another biting incident before finally leaving Liverpool, with Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini clashing with the fiery forward at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Barcelona were, however, prepared to do a deal regardless that summer and have seen that show of faith richly rewarded.
The now 32-year-old striker is into his fifth season at Camp Nou and has plundered 172 goals in just 236 appearances.