Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists the door remains open for striker Daniel Sturridge despite doubts remaining over his future.
The England international fell down the pecking order last season after injuries impacted on his availability and he has been linked with a move to the likes of Sevilla and Besiktas.
He still has plenty to prove to Klopp, considering his fitness record, he is worthy of retention but the 28-year-old has looked one of the sharpest performers in pre-season – although even he could not break the deadlock in a goalless draw at League Two Bury.
“It’s funny, this is my third pre-season and every year we talk about the same things!” said the Reds boss.
“It’s no problem. I always said there is a future, it’s about what we do in the moment.
“At the moment it’s all good and we don’t have to make decisions. I don’t think about my players like this – like, maybe he’s in or out.
“With the young ones we make these decisions but not with the other guys. They show up, and it should be easy for me in the end.
“The window is still open, right? Is it closing tomorrow? Good.”
The game saw Loris Karius, who made another error in Tuesday’s win at Tranmere, given an hour in goal with Danny Ward training at Melwood as he is likely to start at Blackburn on Thursday.
Harry Wilson, after an impressive start to pre-season, was not involved with the likelihood he will go out on loan to a Sky Bet Championship club in the near future with Stoke, Derby and Swansea all interested.
New signing Xherdan Shaqiri, who joined from Stoke for £13million on Friday, will be part of the squad for next week’s International Champions Cup in the United States.
There were first pre-season appearances for Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip with the Dutchman looking particularly composed in a 45-minute first-half run-out.
Speaking after scoring in the Red Devils’ 2-0 win over England in the third-place game, the Belgium captain said, “After 6 wonderful years at Chelsea it might be time to discover something different.
“Certainly after this World Cup.
“I can decide if I want to stay or go, but Chelsea will make the final decision – if they want to let me go.”
Hazard has long been linked with Real Madrid, and even though the manager who had first identified him as a target for Los Blancos, Zinedine Zidane, has left the club, talk of a move to the Spanish capital has never died down. Without mentioning them by name, the Belgian captain confirmed that the Champions League winners are the club he’s likeliest to join.
“You know my preferred destination,” Hazard said.
There were rumours that Hazard was chafing at the defensive burden placed on him by recently departed Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, and the Belgian praised Conte’s replacement, Maurizio Sarri – though that does not seem to have changed his mind regarding a transfer.
“We knew already for a while that Sarri was going to become the new manager,” Hazard said.
“If he’s a good manager? If he lets me win trophies, yes.
“Dries Mertens (who played under Sarri at Napoli) has told me he’s a good coach.
“We’ll have to work hard. The Italian way, but we were used to that with Antonio too.”
Manchester United defender Daley Blind is on the brink of a return to Ajax, according to reports.
The 28-year-old swapped the Amsterdam giants for Old Trafford four years ago in a £14million deal.
Blind made 141 appearances for United over that period, but only played seven Premier League matches last term for Jose Mourinho’s side.
The Holland international now looks set to head back to former club Ajax, with a deal worth an initial 16 millions euros (£14.1million) understood to have been agreed. Add-ons could see the fee rise to 21 million euros (£18.5million).