Luis Suarez to Barcelona: Liverpool to open official talks over £80m transfer involving Alexis Sanchez

There is a consensus on both sides that the Uruguay international will be at the Nou Camp next season

Rio de Janeiro

The Liverpool chief executive, Ian Ayre, will meet a Barcelona delegation in London on Wednesday for the first talks over the sale of Luis Suarez, with the acquisition of Alexis Sanchez a key part of the Premier League club’s demands.

The biggest transfer saga of this summer’s World Cup finals is by no means over yet, but there appears to be a consensus on both sides that Suarez will be a Barcelona player by the end of the transfer window. The Independent understands that Wednesday’s meeting is the first official talks between the clubs on the Suarez-Sanchez deal.

Liverpool have set an £80m valuation on their banned striker, who is not eligible to play club football until November, and is still at his home in Uruguay. They have had one bid for Sanchez rejected by Barcelona already this summer, and see the Chilean striker, valued by his current club at around £30m, as a crucial part of their new-look side for the Champions League next season.

Video: Suarez apology for Chiellini bite
Read more: Barcelona chief praises 'humble' Suarez
Comment: Uruguay must not lionise Suarez
Suarez statement in full

Liverpool have completed the acquisition of Adam Lallana from Southampton for £23m and are also expected to sign Belgium international Divock Origi for £9.8m.

The Sanchez-Suarez deal is the key, however, and much will depend on how talks progress. Suarez is still likely to go ahead with an appeal against his four-month “football activity” ban from Fifa. He is hopeful that the governing body will at least allow him to train during that period of time.

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.

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.

“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 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.”

Having signed a five-year contract at Liverpool, Lallana told the club’s in-house television station that he had watched the team last season hoping that he would one day part of Brendan Rodgers’ side.

Video: Lallana joins Liverpool

“It is a huge step,” said Lallana. “Liverpool has so much history and after the season they had last season I can’t wait to get started and build on that. Watching the run-in towards the end of last season it was unbelievable.

“It got the hairs on the back of my neck standing up just watching the style of football. Deep down I was thinking to myself, ‘One day hopefully I’ll be able to play in that team’.

“Five or six years ago I was playing in League One but it is reality we’ve climbed up the leagues and done so well and I’d like to think I’m here on merit and have earned it and I’d like to continue improving playing with world-class players.”

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave