Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed that forward Luis Diaz has returned to training as the Colombian government continue to pursue the safe return of his kidnapped father.
Diaz’s parents were kidnapped in his homeland of Colombia and, while his mother was freed after just a few hours, his father has remained missing.
As a result of the ongoing incident, Diaz has missed Liverpool‘s last two games in all competitions – the 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest and the Carabao Cup fourth-round triumph over Bournemouth.
Liverpool face Luton Town in the Premier League on Saturday, and while Klopp revealed Diaz is physically available for the game, he stressed the 26-year-old will be given all the time he needs to feel mentally ready to return to action.
“He was in training two days ago, he had a session yesterday, but we must wait,” Klopp told a press conference on Friday.
“If he feels right, he’ll be here and train with us. The session he had with us, you could see that when he’s with the boys, he’s OK, but could also see he didn’t sleep a lot. So we have to see how he is and we go from there.”
The leader of the Colombian government’s peace delegation negotiation team, Otty Patino, revealed on Thursday that a group associated with a rebel group known as the ELN was behind the kidnapping and called on them to release Diaz’s father.
“To the ELN, we demand the immediate release of Mr Luis Manuel Diaz and we remind them that it is their responsibility to guarantee his life and integrity,” a statement read.
In response, ELN representative Juan Carlos Cuellar told a community meeting, in a video clip shared by the ELN with Reuters, that they would release Diaz’s father “as soon as possible”.
Local reports state the police are preparing a “co-ordinated” meeting with the ELN with a view to securing the safe return of Diaz’s father.
Reacting to the latest update, Klopp added: “The news from Colombia, everything that gives us a little bit of hope is good. We are waiting for the really good news.”
Klopp added: “It’s all about him. If he makes himself available or not, I will not force anything.”