Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers appears to be growing tired of the on-going speculation over the Luis Suarez saga after he insisted that he will not be talking about the striker again until he is available for selection.
Arsenal have made no secret of their pursuit of the Uruguayan striker, though neither have Liverpool in their attempts to fend off the Gunners with a number of warnings coming from both Rodgers and club owner John W Henry.
The north London club have made two unsuccessful bids for Suarez – the second of £40m plus £1 having them believe they had triggered a release clause but only acting to infuriate Anfield officials – but they remain undeterred in their bid to sign the 26-year-old.
Suarez still has six games to serve of his 10-match suspension for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic towards the end of last season, and should the forward remain with Liverpool until that ban has expired, Rodgers is unwilling to speak on the matter until such a time.
"For me Luis Suarez is very simple. I will start off by saying there has been so much written and said about Luis over the last few months," said Rodgers.
"From our perspective there is a standpoint from the club and myself that has not changed.
"What I want to concentrate on is the players that are available for this weekend so I won't be speaking any more about Luis Suarez until he is available.
"I don't really want to answer any more questions on Luis Suarez.
"There is nothing to be said that hasn't already been said. I am sure people are fed up of listening about it and reading about it.
"My only concentration is the players who are available and, from the first day they came back, they've had a real hard pre-season.
"Purely out of respect to them and the work which has been going on, I only want to talk about them."
Reports emerged yesterday that Suarez had told a respected Uruguayan journalist that he was willing to stay at Liverpool having spent the last fortnight pushing for an exit, but Suarez’s representatives later denied any of these claims.
Uruguayan newspaper El Observador claimed that Suarez had told them he would stay at Anfield “owing to the affection shown me by the people”.
With the comments failing to clarify his future, it was taken as his admission he would stay due to the Reds’ fans support, but Suarez later denied this following the international victory over Japan, in which he scored the third goal on the way to a 4-2 win.
“I didn’t say it,” said Suarez after the match. “Maybe someone else did; the main thing is that I am here now with the national team.”
Liverpool maintain that Suarez will not be sold, but their reported interest in Anzhi Makhachkala forward Willian – who is available for around £35m – has led to suspicions that they will sell Suarez to fund the move.
England and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard claimed that he believed Suarez would stay with the club, however his comments did arise some fears that the striker could still leave, albeit not to Arsenal.
Gerrard said before yesterday’s international friendly victory over Scotland: “I'm really confident he won't move to anyone else in England,” and his failure to admit that he wouldn’t be sold has reignited speculation that Real Madrid could resume their interest after talks over the Gareth Bale transfer have stalled.
Arsenal meanwhile could change their target should they accept that they will not land Suarez, with Swansea forward Michu and Manchester City striker Edin Dzejo being identified by Arsene Wenger as he searches desperately for a new frontman to lead the Gunners’ attack.
However, as reported by The Independent this morning, they could test Liverpool’s resolve to the limit with a final £49m bid – which would smash their current transfer record by more than £30m.