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The 35-year-old would be surprised if his international team-mate joined Los Blancos and says the striker is nearing full fitness ahead of Uruguay's first game of the World Cup

EXCLUSIVE
By Alvaro Jimenez 

Uruguay star Diego Forlan believes Luis Suarez will spurn the advances of Real Madrid and stay at Liverpool.

The striker handed in a transfer request last summer in an attempt to force through a move away from Anfield, before scoring 31 goals in 37 games to fire the club into the Champions League.

However, that has failed to end speculation regarding his future, with Madrid and Carlo Ancelotti believed to be firm admirers of the 27-year-old's talents.

But Forlan, who is set to star alongside Suarez for Uruguay at the World Cup, would be surprised to see his international team-mate depart.

He told Goal: "Luis Suarez is very happy at Liverpool. They are all rumours for now. If at any time he signs for Real Madrid, I will answer that question."

Oscar Tabarez's men kick off their World Cup campaign with a Group D clash against Costa Rica on Saturday evening without Suarez in their starting XI.

That means Forlan and Edinson Cavani will start in attack as their talisman continues his recovery from keyhole knee surgery, but the 35-year-old still expects Suarez to play his part in the tournament.

"Luis Suarez is much better," he added. "He is taking steps to recover well. Hopefully he recovers well and could be ready to play."

The former Atletico Madrid man also spoke of his admiration for Diego Simeone after the coach guided the club to the La Liga title and the Champions League final.

"Simeone has contributed a lot," said Forlan. "The team is in great form, fighting for championships with powerful teams that have a budget three times greater than that of Atleti. You can only admire what they are doing, the coaching staff and players."

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