BRENDAN RODGERS insists Luis Suarez will be staying to inspire Liverpool’s Champions League push this season.
The Uruguay ace’s hopes of securing a move to Arsenal have been dashed by the Anfield outfit’s refusal to sell.
Liverpool have rejected a bid of £40million plus £1 and Rodgers is banking on the Gunners and Real Madrid refusing to meet the club’s £55m valuation.
Kop boss Rodgers said: “Luis is still very much a Liverpool player. There is nothing new to report on his situation.
“He has three years left on his contract and we’re planning with him for the season ahead.”
Suarez played the final half- hour of yesterday’s comfortable 3-0 victory over Thailand at Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium.
It proved to be a frustrating cameo for the hitman.
Suarez looked destined to score when Steven Gerrard’s delivery handed him a free header six yards out but the ball cannoned back off the underside of the bar.
The striker, who was given a huge ovation by the 45,000-strong crowd, also slammed a free-kick into the wall and curled an attempted lob well wide.
With Suarez suspended for the Reds’ opening six competitive fixtures, he will have to get used to life on the bench over the coming weeks.
Rodgers added: “Luis still has some way to go as he’s a number of weeks behind the other players.
“We also have to consider that our focus over the course of pre-season is for the first Premier League game against Stoke and Luis won’t be available for that.
“As he comes closer to finishing his ban we will build him up with more minutes on the field.”
Before Suarez’s introduction, Liverpool were already out of sight thanks to goals from Philippe Coutinho, Iago Aspas and Gerrard.
Coutinho was once again the outstanding performer as the 5ft 7in pint-sized Brazilian tormented the overworked Thai backline.
The £8.5m January signing from Inter Milan broke the deadlock with a stunning mazy run which took him past three men before he slotted the ball home.
Early in the second half Coutinho turned provider as his pass sent Aspas scampering clear.
Aspas then teed up Gerrard, who sent an exquisite lob over the stranded keeper for No 3.
Victory maintained Liverpool’s 100 per cent pre-season record and Rodgers’ squad fly back to the UK today.
He added: “It was another step up in our fitness levels.
“Our attitude, work-rate and intensity was at a very good level for this stage of the season. We are in a good moment and want to continue getting better.”