After a day of talks between Barcelona and Liverpool were deemed “productive” by the Reds, Luis Suarez appears close to completing his preferred move to the Catalan giants.
The talks were held between Liverpool’s chief executive, Ian Ayre, and a host of Barcelona delegates including their director of football management, Raul Sanllehi.
Barcelona reportedly opened the negotiations with an offer in the range of $103-120 million (£60-70m), which fell well short of the $137 million (£80m) release clause inserted into the new deal Suarez signed with the Anfield club last December.
That provision, as well as the fact that the contract runs through 2018, are the main bargaining chips for Liverpool in the negotiations. The Liverpool Echo is reporting that the Reds informed the representatives of Barcelona that they would accept $77 million (£45m) for Suarez plus Chilean winger Alexis Sanchez, currently valued around $52 million (£30m).
A deal involving Sanchez looks unlikely, however, as the forward is believed to either want to stay at Barcelona or to move to Arsenal. His reported position did not deter Liverpool, with the club happy to accept straight cash for the Uruguayan with most reliable sources citing a range of $120-$130 million (£70-75m).
From all indications, it’s a deal that both sides seems confident will get done with a Liverpool source saying:
The talks were productive. There were sensible expectations on both sides and there will be further discussions to take place. But nothing is finalized as of now.
Expect this deal to be finalized before the end of July and more likely than not over the next few weeks. If Liverpool are to lose the striker who bagged them 31 league goals last year the club will need to act quick to replace him with the August 16th Premier League opener looming large.
Rumors have Brendan Rodgers close to a deal for 19-year-old Belgian sensation Divock Origi and has spent $69 million (£40m) this summer on Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Emre Can.