Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says he will wait until Luis Suarez is showing the expected level of motivation and commitment before welcoming him back to the rest of the squad.
Suarez is currently training alone after appearing uninterested during pre-season training and this week’s outburst when he tried to force his way out of Anfield to Arsenal.
However, the Reds have come down firmly on the 26-year-old forward, with principal owner John Henry declaring the club will not sell Suarez to anyone.
Now Rodgers says he has a plan to make sure Suarez’s attitude is corrected, so as not to cause problems with the rest of the players at the club.
He is quotes in Saturday’s Independent, “Obviously Luis is training on his own at the moment and he understands totally where we’re coming from.
“We’re in no great rush, to be honest. I needed to make a decision in terms of the well-being of the group. The training through pre-season has been absolutely magnificent. The mentality of the players. I just couldn’t afford to break that.
“But when the time comes, we’ll come in and speak and once he’s ready to train how he’s always done we’ll put him back in the group.
“It’s been a difficult period for him but it’s my job to protect the group and the football club. Once he’s back in line with the spirit that everyone knows of him, and the commitment, then he’ll rejoin the group.
“It’s obviously been a difficult few days for him but he knows where we stand as a football club.”
Suarez is suspended for the first six games of the new campaign, including Liverpool’s second round League Cup tie at home to Notts County on August 26th.
Unsurprisingly, the Uruguayan international is not included in Liverpool’s squad to face Celtic in their final pre-season friendly of the summer in Dublin this afternoon (Saturday).
However, Daniel Sturridge is in the squad after recovering from the ankle injury that has seen him recovering from since May.
Liverpool: Jones, Johnson, Enrique, Toure, Alberto, Gerrard, Aspas, Coutinho, Assaidi, Henderson, Sturridge, Coates, Downing, Lucas, Mignolet, Allen, Borini, Sterling, Kelly, Flanagan, Ibe, Wisdom.
Liverpool vs Celtic gets underway at 5pm today, with coverage live on BT Sport in the UK.
Liverpool Ladies are also in action today, away to Bristol Ladies at 7.45pm tonight. That game is also live on BT Sport.