Uruguayan Striker Luis Suárez To Sign Five-Year, $120M Deal With Barcelona
Barcelona "put aside any misgivings about Luis Suárez’s temperament by agreeing to buy him from Liverpool in what is expected to be the biggest transfer deal of the summer," according to Roger Blitz of the FINANCIAL TIMES. The Uruguayan striker, who was banned for four months for biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini in the World Cup, "cannot enter a stadium and will not be able to play for the Spanish giants until November, ruling him out of the start of the Champions League." But his "value remains undiminished." Liverpool said that "it did everything in its power to stop him leaving the Merseyside club." Barcelona is thought to be paying in the region of £70M ($120M) for the 27-year-old. He "will sign a five-year contract next week after completing a medical" (FT, 7/11). The Scotland DAILY RECORD reported FIFA confirmed that Barcelona "will not be allowed to publicly unveil" Suárez while he "remains banned for biting." The Catalan club "has previously introduced star signings including Neymar and Cesc Fabregas to packed stadiums." There have been suggestions Barcelona "could hold a similar event for Suarez in a non-football venue to get around the four-month ban." FIFA has now confirmed that "any such event will not be permitted while the ban remains in force." FIFA Head of Media Delia Fischer said, "The ban relates to all football-related activity. He cannot be in a football-related public event irrespective of the venue" (DAILY RECORD, 7/13). In London, Tom Hopkinson reported Suárez will see his £10M ($17M)-a-year Barcelona "pay packet slashed by up to" £3M ($5M) if he "tries to bite a chunk out of another opponent" (DAILY MIRROR, 7/12).
CLAUSE DENIED: The EFE reported Barcelona Sporting Dir Andoni Zubizarreta is "convinced that Suárez has learned a lot for the future from his action" against Chiellini. Zubizarreta: "We have always wanted Luis Suárez. We were interested before the World Cup. He was a primary option since the end of last season. We studied his attitude. It was very important to get stronger at forward. ... There is no clause in the contract for behavior. We all understand that we can make mistakes, and from our errors we have to learn and apart from learning, we have to rectify habits and make sure mistakes do not happen again. But football is life and in life things happen that we do not like and one has to change them" (EFE, 7/13).