Luis Suarez to Barcelona: Liverpool striker nearing £80m transfer - but Alexis Sanchez could be Arsenal bound
Suarez looks destined for the Nou Camp after 'productive' initial talks
Luis Suarez is on the brink of a transfer from Liverpool to Barcelona regardless of whether Alexis Sanchez moves in the opposite direction.
Sanchez is a target for Arsenal and a number of other European clubs. Although Liverpool would like to sign the Chilean forward as part of the deal, they are still prepared to sell Suarez provided Barcelona meet their £80m asking price.
Ian Ayre, the club’s chief executive, met with Barcelona officials in London and the talks were described as "productive". A source said there had been "sensible expectations on both sides".
Barcelona value Sanchez at £35m. It has been reported that Arsenal have bid £22m but are prepared to go much higher.
Barcelona made little secret of their intentions on Tuesday when their sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta described Suarez as “humble” for having apologised to Giorgio Chiellini on Monday for biting the Italian.
Video: Barcelona president discusses Suarez
Zubizarreta was speaking at a press conference to introduce the club’s new Croatian midfield signing Ivan Rakitic. Asked about the club’s potential interest in Suarez, Zubizarreta said: “Suarez has shown he is humble enough to admit an error, which is very important.
Alexis Sanchez of Chile
“He has been humble enough to apologise to those he has affected, because it happened in the middle of a festival of football. In this case it’s the best thing a person can do. Everyone knows that Luis is an excellent player, everyone knows last season he played in various positions in attack, but everyone also knows that he is a Liverpool player.”
Ivan Rakitic (R) poses with the FC Barcelona Sport Director Andoni Zubizarreta (L) and FC Barcelona Vice-President Jordi Mestre
Rakitic, signed for £14m from Seville said: “The fact he [Suarez] has had the character and the strength to go in front of everyone and say sorry says a lot about him as a person.
“Not every person has that strength to admit they have done something stupid. I rarely say that I am wrong so this says a lot about him, he has shown the character and strength he has so he should be commended for that.
“Regardless of whether the club signs him or not, his quality is unquestionable. He has shown a lot of quality with Uruguay and scored more than 30 goals [last season] with Liverpool, so he has the necessary quality to play for Barça.”
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