Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones has seen no change in striker Luis Suarez’s attitude on his return to the squad despite the player suggesting he wants a new challenge.
The Uruguay international is set to make his first appearance for the Reds this summer in today’s friendly against Melbourne Victory, having flown into Australia on Sunday from his extended leave following the Confederations Cup. While he was away the 26-year-old has spoken about the attraction of Real Madrid and his agent Pere Guardiola has told the club the player wants to play in the Champions League but will not try to force through a move. Suarez has also been linked with Arsenal, with claims that the Gunners are making a club-record £40m (€46m) for the Uruguayan.
The reports have not affected Suarez either way, and he has returned to training with the same vigour he had last season and Jones said they expect him to stay.
“It’s good to have Luis and (fellow Uruguay international) Seb Coates back,” he said.
“Most of the boys were joking with him about his Uruguayan (television) advert which we saw on the internet.
“Luis is a bubbly character. You always know when he’s about as you can hear him five rooms away! He just loves football — he lives and breathes it. You saw him in training here, he’s like a little kid. He doesn’t want to stop — it’s like waiting for your mum to call you in. He’s that type of character. 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. 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.”
Jones has been working closely with Liverpool’s new goalkeeper Simon Mignolet since the Belgium international’s arrival from Sunderland. He appears to be favourite for the number one spot as Jose Reina, who could be on his way to Napoli after they made an approach for a loan deal which would reunite him Rafael Benitez. Jones has been impressed with £9m signing Mignolet.
“I’ve seen a fair bit of him and he’s done really well,” said Jones.
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