Luis Suárez may be serving out a four-month ban after biting Giorgio Chiellini in Uruguay’s World Cup match against Italy, but that doesn’t mean the star has disappeared from the headlines. Despite his ever-growing reputation as the biggest bad boy in soccer, it seems Barcelona are willing to take a chance on Suárez.
One of last summer’s biggest transfer sagas was that of Suárez’s potential move to Arsenal. The switch never transpired, leaving the forward in a bit of a sulk. But he pulled himself out of his funk, returning to the Liverpool side in late September (after sitting out a ten-game ban for his then-latest transgression, taking a bite out of Branislav Ivanović) and performing so well that the club offered him a contract extension in December.
That contract was meant to keep him at Anfield until 2018, but the Reds included a release clause, said to be worth between £70-£80m (~$120-$135m). Barcelona are prepared to meet that fee.
However, Liverpool aren’t ready to jump at the sale just yet. That’s because they are waiting to see whether a deal can be worked out in which Alexis Sánchez moves to England as part of the agreement.
But the Chilean needs time to ponder whether he will move away from Barcelona – and if so, whether it is Liverpool that most appeals. The 25-year-old is also rumored to be wanted by other Premier League clubs, particularly Arsenal and Manchester United, as well as Serie A side Juventus, who’ve long held a soft spot for Sánchez.
Because Liverpool must wait on a decision from Sánchez, it may be some time before a deal for Suárez is agreed. Media outlets are saying next week “at the earliest”, and it seems unlikely that it will happen in the next few days.