With the season winding to an end it's not only transfer rumours taking centre stage. For at least some of Liverpool's fans in Oceania and Southeast Asia, attention is beginning to turn to the club's 2013-14 pre-season tour. And for them, bad news arrived today when Brendan Rodgers revealed that Luis Suarez will likely miss the pre-season tour thanks to his involvement in the Confederations Cup.
This summer's Confederations Cup runs from June 15th to June 30th with South American champions Uruguay and World Cup hosts Brazil joined by Spain, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Tahiti, and—representing Europe as Euro 2012 runners-up—Italy. Liverpool are set to face the Melbourne Victory on July the 24th before taking on the Thai National Team on the 28th.
That would mean three weeks off for Suarez between the end of the tournament and Liverpool's first pre-season match against the Melbourne Victory. With the star striker's Uruguay commitments keeping him busy almost year round back through the last World Cup, though, choosing to give him at least full month away from football could be in both his and the club's best long-term interests.
"If Luis is playing in that tournament," Brendan Rodgers explained when asked about his striker by the Guardian, "he may not be back at the start of pre-season for us because he needs to have a recovery period. There will be an individual pattern for every player. The idea is to get everyone back in the summer as soon as possible to have a real push next year."
Thai and Australian fans will be disappointed that they will likely miss out on the chance to see Suarez in person, but stars missing out on pre-season friendlies is hardly an uncommon occurrence. Last summer on the club's North American tour, for instance, all of Liverpool's Euro participants including captain Steven Gerrard missed out on the pre-season opener in Toronto.
Lucas Leiva and Philippe Coutinho, meanwhile, are both in contention to play for Brazil, though recent selections by new manager Luiz Felipe Scolari suggest both will have the summer off. The still injured Fabio Borini of Italy is similarly not expected to head to Brazil, though Sebastian Coates and Pepe Reina will be expected to man the benches of Uruguay and Spain respectively.
All told, it means that Suarez will likely be the only Liverpool player heavily involved in action this summer—and so likely the only Liverpool player to miss the pre-season tour. And after the toll playing every summer for Spain eventually took on Fernando Torres, Liverpool's last star striker, it's hard to blame Rodgers for wanting to play it safe by giving Suarez a little more time to rest up.