Barcelona claim they paid £65m, not £75m, to Liverpool for Luis Suarez

Club were fined £11.2m for tax fraud over the transfer of Neymar in February

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The Independent Football

Barcelona have claimed they only paid £65m for Luis Suarez, despite his Liverpool release clause set at £75m.

Speaking at a press conference this morning, Jordi Meste, the vice president of Barcelona, announced the club had spent €81m (£65m) on the striker, who made his debut in a pre-season friendly last night, because Suarez wanted to join the club.

“Luis Suarez had a release clause at Liverpool of £75million. After negotiations, we in the end paid £65million.”

Meste was then questioned on how the club got such a good price for Suarez, a world class striker who scored 31 goals for Liverpool in the Premier League last season.

He added: “For two reasons: good negotiations by our people and Luis’ wish to join.”

The claim sparked mocking on social media, with many claiming Barcelona have announced a lower price in a bid to avoid paying tax to the Spanish authorities.

In February this year the club had to pay £11.2m (€13.5m), though they continue to deny the accusations, to after being charged with tax fraud over the £50m transfer of Neymar.

Meste also confirmed that Suarez's new release clause is set at €200m.

At the same press conference the striker said he was seeking help and will not bite again.

“I know I must accept the reality and have apologised,” he said.

“That is something from the past and to be forgotten. When [bite] happened I felt very down, then saw I had to apologise. I prefer not to go back over all I have been through.

“The lesson is clear. The lesson I should take on myself. It was my mistake. But that is the past now. I say to the fans not to worry as it will not happen again.”