Liverpool and Barcelona have reportedly started negotiating over the transfer of Luis Suarez this summer.
It has been widely reported both in the English and the Spanish media that officials of the two clubs have met in London this week.
Premier League club Liverpool had always maintained that the 27-year-old striker will not be sold this summer, but the former Ajax star’s conduct at the 2014 World Cup finals appears to have changed their decision.
Suarez bit Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay’s Group D match against Italy, and was subsequently suspended for nine international matches and banned from all football-related activities for four months by FIFA.
There have been calls from many footballing figures for Liverpool to cash in on a striker who has now bit an opponent on the football pitch for the third time in his career, and Reds legend Michael Owen has given his backing to them.
The former Real Madrid striker had earlier appeared to be in two minds (click here to read more), but it now seems that he is certain that Suarez needs to go.
‘If I were the Liverpool manager I would probably sell Suarez but only if the deal was right for the club’, the 34-year-old former Manchester United and Newcastle United forward wrote on Sportlobster.com.
‘I think that given his misdemeanours in the last few seasons it will be very difficult for him to continue to play in England and if the deal was right for Liverpool I think that it would be best for all concerned if he moved on to a new club.
‘That said, it would have to be to a club outside of the Premiership and at a price of £70 million plus!’
The key point that Owen makes is about the price being right. Suarez’s buyout clause is reported to be somewhere between £70m and £80m.
Will Barcelona be ready to pay that much for a player who will be out of action for until the end of October?
According to latest reports emerging from Spain, Liverpool have accepted an offer of €75 million (£59.5m) for the Uruguay international (click here to read more).
If these reports are true, then it would appear that the Reds are happy with what they are getting in exchange for their best player.