Liverpool set to sell star striker Luis Suarez to Barcelona
Liverpool have confirmed that an agreement is in place to sell star striker Luis Suarez to Catalan giants Barcelona, for a reported fee of £75m, on a five-year contract. The deal is set to be completed next week after he passes his medical.
As a result of this, the Reds have dropped down to fifth-favourites in the betting with Coral to win the Premier League, at 10/1.
The Merseyside outfit said in statement: “Liverpool FC confirms that Luis Suarez will be leaving the club after a transfer agreement was reached with FC Barcelona. The player now has permission to complete the usual formalities, which will then conclude the transfer.
“We would like to thank Luis for his contribution and the role he played in helping bring Champions League football back to Anfield. Everyone at Liverpool Football Club wishes Luis and his family well for the future.”
The controversial Uruguayan, meanwhile, was thankful for his time at the club. “It is with a heavy heart that I leave Liverpool for a new life and new challenges in Spain,” he said.
“Both me and my family have fallen in love with this club and with the city but most of all I have fallen in love with the incredible fans.
“You have always supported me and we, as a family, will never forget it, we will always be Liverpool supporters.
“I hope you can all understand why I have made this decision. This club did all they could to get me to stay, but playing and living in Spain, where my wife’s family live, is a lifelong dream and ambition. I believe now the timing is right.
“I wish Brendan Rodgers and the team well for the future. The club is in great hands and I’m sure will be successful again next season.
“I am very proud I have played my part in helping to return Liverpool to the elite of the Premier League and in particular back into the Champions League. Thank you again for some great moments and memories. You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
It is fair to say that for the many moments of genius fans in England have witnessed, there have also been instances of madness.
Suarez was signed by Kenny Dalglish in the January transfer window in 2011, but was already involved in controversy later that year, when he was banned for eight matches and fined £40k for racially abusing Manchester United left back Patrice Evra.
He then allowed the debate to carry on when the two sides next met, by refusing to shake Evra’s hand before the game.
The following season, in 2013, he served a 10-match ban for biting the arm of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, before being charged more recently at this year’s World Cup for the same act.
This time, his bit another defender, Giorgio Chiellini, on the shoulder in his country’s crunch final group game at the finals. As a result, FIFA banned him from all football-related activity for four months (until the end of October) and nine international games. An appeal by the player an Uruguay has since been turned down.
Reds boss Rodgers added: “Luis is a very special talent and I thank him for the role he has played.
“I think he would be the first to accept he has improved as a player over that period along with the team and has benefited from being here as we have benefited from him.
The Northern Irishman went on the say: “I am confident we will improve the team further and will be stronger for this coming season, when we will be competing on all fronts; domestically and in the greatest club competition in the world, the Champions League.
“If there is one thing the history of this great club teaches us is that Liverpool FC is bigger than any individual. I hope our supporters continue to dream and believe we are moving forward. With continued improvement and progression together we will bring the success we all crave and deserve.”