Luis Suarez has announced he will not be joining River Plate after they were knocked out of the Copa Libertadores.
Veteran striker Suarez, who is a free agent after leaving Atletico Madrid, had been linked with River and has now confirmed there was genuine interest.
The former Ajax, Liverpool and Barcelona man was open to the move, too, motivated by the opportunity to fight for a Libertadores title.
But River were eliminated from South America’s elite club competition on Wednesday following a goalless draw at home to Velez Sarsfield in the last 16, losing 1-0 on aggregate.
Suarez will not therefore be heading to the Buenos Aires giants, who are losing Julian Alvarez to Manchester City, he told Ovacion.
“I was very excited about the possibility of going to River to fight for the Copa Libertadores,” he said.
“It was a dream that I had to win a cup in South America. As River was knocked out, that possibility falls away.”
0 – Es la primera vez que River y Boca son eliminados en la misma fase de eliminación directa de la @Libertadores sin anotar goles tanto en la ida como en la vuelta. Sequía.
— OptaJavier (@OptaJavier) July 7, 2022
Suarez has spent 16 years in Europe, signing for Groningen in 2006 after leaving Nacional in his native Uruguay.
And the 35-year-old said he was disappointed not to have heard from his former club, explaining: “If I came to think and get excited about the possibility of River, the same would happen with that of Nacional, which was my home.
“I am surprised that the leaders of Nacional did not even call me to find out my situation.”
Instead, it seems, Suarez will stay in Europe. Ovacion reported he was weighing up three offers having been tempted by River.
“A month and a half ago, I declared that I was not going to leave Europe,” he said. “But River insisted and insisted so much that I came to consider it, and there was a possibility.
“As much as one says something, when the time comes, you will consider it. You are excited that they love you so much.
“The player needs love. River was giving it to me, and Nacional could have tried that.”