Brad Jones believes Luis Suarez will stay at Liverpool and insists the forward has been welcomed back into the squad despite declaring his desire to leave.
Suarez’s long-term future at Anfield is in doubt, with the striker having said several times since the end of May that he wants to move. In June, Liverpool rejected a £30 million bid for him from Arsenal - who are preparing to return with a £40 million offer, according to reports.
But goalkeeper Jones feels Suarez, who has three years left on his contract at Anfield, will remain at the club.
The Australian told the Liverpool Daily Post: “He’s still here and we expect it to stay that way. We all hope he stays as he’s a fantastic player. I see no reason to doubt that.”
On Monday, Reds manager Brendan Rodgers made it clear that Liverpool want to keep the forward, their 30-goal top scorer last season, and that the club — not the player — will dictate what happens next.
Suarez arrived in Melbourne over the weekend to join Liverpool’s pre-season tour of the Far East and Australia, which continues with a friendly against Melbourne Victory on Wednesday.
The striker, along with international team-mate Sebastian Coates, had been given time off after representing Uruguay at the Confederations Cup in Brazil in June.
Jones insisted that, despite Suarez’s public statements about leaving, there were no hard feelings among his colleagues.
He said: “It’s good to have Luis and Seb Coates back. Luis is a bubbly character. You always know when he’s about.”
Jones added that Suarez has been mocked over a television advert he had made for a Uruguayan internet company, which plays up to his controversial image by showing him in an office pushing away a colleague’s keyboard, shoving a photocopier and diving to the ground after bumping into another workmate.
“Most of the boys were joking with him about his Uruguayan advert, which we saw on the internet,” Jones said. “He just loves football — he lives and breathes it.
“ He’s never going to shirk any effort. We don’t expect anything less, no matter what’s gone on in the media. He’s the same player we’ve been used to. Nothing has changed.”