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Balague confirms Sanchez sale helped fund Luis Suarez purchase

Arsenal's successful pursuit of Alexis Sanchez paved the way for Barcelona's ability to fork out the full amount for Liverpool's former superstar.

Barcelona have completed the marquee purchase of prolific striker Luis Suarez, a player whose Liverpool form was so fantastic that the Camp Nou side not only have paid €81 million for the forward but have also entrusted him with a jersey number - 9 - previously worn by legendary players such as Ronaldo, Patrick Kluivert, Samuel Eto'o and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Barcelona's most recent incumbent of the number nine shirt, Alexis Sanchez, was yesterday sold to Arsenal for an undisclosed sum believed to be between £32 million and £35 million and that sale was instrumental to the Spanish club's ability to fund the Suarez deal.

La Liga expert Guillem Balague said: "The figures of the Suarez cost are… Barcelona paid €81 million [and] the sale of Alexis Sanchez helped reduce the cost."

Arsenal, of course, benefit most from this transfer activity as, not only have they significantly strengthened their forward line but they have temporarily weakened one of their main rivals next season.

What is now imperative for Reds boss Brandan Rodgers is to ensure that transfer funds are invested into the squad wisely so that the loss of Suarez is not too damaging to their ambitions in the 2014-15 campaign.

If ever there was inspiration from Spain to draw on, it is that just last summer, Atletico Madrid sold their primary hitman Radamel Falcao in a high-profile deal that saw the Colombian move to AS Monaco. Unperturbed, the Vicente Calderon club went on to lift the La Liga title and compete in the Champions League final.

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