Liverpool have told Luis Suarez to submit a written transfer request if he wishes to force through his departure from Anfield, according to club sources.
The striker has made a number of public declarations of his desire to leave Liverpool since the end of May, making clear that he wants to join Real Madrid.
But Suarez, who is on duty with Uruguay at the Confederations Cup in Brazil, has yet to confirm officially to senior figures at Anfield that he wants to leave.
Liverpool have maintained publicly that the 26-year-old, whose contract with the club runs until 2017, is not for sale.
The club are aware that it will be difficult to retain a player who is absolutely determined to leave, though, and will consider offers in excess of £40 million.
Anfield officials have become weary at Suarez’s attempts to force through a move to Madrid, who have still to make a bid for the player.
And they believe that the time has come for him to submit a transfer request – or refrain from speaking publicly about his desire to depart.
The club do not want the issue of Suarez’s future to drag on towards the start of next season. And although the player’s commitments at the Confederations Cup mean a resolution is unlikely in the next fortnight, Liverpool are keen to get the matter sorted out before they head to the Far East for a pre-season tour in July.
Suarez, Liverpool’s 30-goal leading scorer last season, has served four games of a ten-match domestic suspension imposed by the Football Association after he bit Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during a Premier League match at Anfield in April.