Luis Suarez arrived at Anfield today with a smile on his face ahead of Liverpool’s Premier League curtain raiser against Stoke.
The Uruguayan international arrived carrying his daughter Delfina, and he walked around the edge of the pitch, and he even received applause from those fans already in the ground an hour before kick-off.
He shook hands with referee Mark Halsey before disappearing back down the tunnel, and re-emerged 10 minutes later to make his way to the executive boxes in the Centenary Stand.
A group of Stoke fans, who had made their way into the stands, booed the striker as he walked past them, but again Reds’ fans applauded him with the odd cheer coming from the Kop faithful.
Suarez’s future has been the subject of intense speculation this summer after he expressed his desire to leave the club, claiming they had reneged on their word to sell him should they fail to qualify for the Champions League this season.
Liverpool maintained that they had no obligation to sell him – with no official clause on his contract to do so – and manager Brendan Rodgers banished him to train with the reserves squad after showing a “total disrespect” towards the club.
Suarez is unavailable for selection regardless of if Rodgers deemed it acceptable for him to feature as he serves the final six matches of his 10-game suspension for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic last season.
However, he returned to training with the first team having been on international duty with Uruguay in Japan, although the details of his so-called apology have yet to be disclosed.
Arsenal could yet launch a third bid for Suarez, having seen their £40m plus £1 offer immediately rejected by Anfield officials, with two weeks left to go in the transfer window.