Liverpool’s wantaway striker Luis Suarez has been included in the 27-man squad for their pre-season tour of Indonesia, Australia and Thailand.
Suarez’s desire to leave the Reds this summer has seemed clear from various interviews he has given over the last few weeks, but the club have stressed they do not intend to sell the 26-year-old Uruguay international and rejected an offer for him from Arsenal.
He is not part of the 24-man group set to depart John Lennon Airport this afternoon for the 12-day trip, although a statement on Liverpool’s website said that Suarez, Uruguay defender Sebastian Coates and Spain goalkeeper Jose Reina, who have been given extended time off due to their involvement in the Confederations Cup, would all be joining the party “later on in the tour”.
Suarez scored 30 goals for the Merseyside outfit last term but his campaign ended controversially after he was handed a 10-game ban – six of which he is still to serve – for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during a match at Anfield.
Among the 24 players due to fly out today are fit-again club captain Steven Gerrard, absent from the last two fixtures of 2012-13 due to a shoulder problem.
The 33-year-old midfielder yesterday signed a contract extension with the Reds understood to take him through to the summer of 2015.
The club’s quartet of new signings – goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, defender Kolo Toure and forwards Luis Alberto and Iago Aspas – are also included, while striker Daniel Sturridge, who has been nursing an ankle injury, is not involved.
The squad listed on the website today initially featured 28 names, but that of Daniel Pacheco has since been removed, with the club subsequently confirming the Spanish forward would not be travelling.
Pacheco is not injured and no further information has been given as to the reason for his withdrawal.
The matches Liverpool have scheduled for the tour see them take on an Indonesia XI in Jakarta on July 20, face Melbourne Victory in Australia on July 24 and then play Thailand in Bangkok on July 28.