Luis Suarez has declined the opportunity to tell the world that he wants to stay at Liverpool.
But his manager Brendan Rodgers declared himself ‘very satisfied with how everything has been resolved’.
Suarez did enough to show that he wishes to be accepted back in the fold — for now, at least.
The Uruguayan arrived at Anfield at 11.30am — and a few minutes later, wearing a Liverpool shirt, he walked around the pitch with his daughter Delfina in his arms.
The few Liverpool fans already in their seats greeted him warmly, though he endured a few taunts from Stoke supporters over alleged acts of ‘diving’ in the past.
It was a successful and spontaneous charm offensive, though — and completely unforeseen. ‘We don’t choreograph things like that,’ said a Liverpool spokesman.
Suarez watched the match with his family from a players’ box across the pitch from the dressing room.
After Liverpool’s 1-0 victory, Rodgers wasn’t surprised that Suarez had been greeted so warmly by the fans he has tormented with his previously declared desire to move on.
Asked if this was a positive development, Rodgers said: ‘Yeah. He’s part of our team, he’s part of our club. The supporters are a class act here and always support the players and manager.’
Rodgers refused to confirm or deny that Suarez had apologised — the condition upon which he was supposed to have returned to the group.
The manager concluded: ‘I’m very satisfied with how everything has been resolved and now we are looking to the future.’
Watching on: Suarez observed the match against Stoke City
There could yet be a twist in the tale, of course. Asked if he wanted to stay at Liverpool now, Suarez seemed to think about answering, before continuing on his way without comment.
Accompanied by his wife, Sofia Balbo, and daughter, Suarez left Anfield without signing autographs for the waiting crowd.
There were signs on Saturday that the striker might feel comfortable enough around Anfield — and his manager — to be prepared to play again in that famous Liverpool shirt... if no other options are open to him.
Wandering: Suarez mixed with the fans at one point and there was no trouble