Writer: Gavin Kelley-Day
Date:Friday July 11 2014
Liverpool FC have revealed an agreement has been reached for the transfer of Luis Suarez to Barcelona...
After weeks of endless speculation, Liverpool FC have today confirmed controversial striker Luis Suarez will depart the club this summer.
The Uruguayan, who is currently suspended from all football for four-months, is set to join Spanish giants Barcelona once personal terms are concluded.
A statement published on the club's official website around midday finally ratified the widely-expected move.
"Liverpool FC confirms that Luis Suarez will be leaving the club after a transfer agreement was reached with FC Barcelona," revealed the post.
"The player now has permission to complete the usual formalities, which will then conclude the transfer.
"We would like to thank Luis for his contribution and the role he played in helping bring Champions League football back to Anfield.
"Everyone at Liverpool Football Club wishes Luis and his family well for the future."
The fee was not disclosed but is widely reported to be around £75m, which represents a sizeable profit on the £22.8m Liverpool paid Ajax in January 2011.
During his time at Anfield, Suarez scored an impressive 82 goals in 133 appearances and lifted the League Cup in 2012.
Last season the 27-year-old topped the Premier League scoring charts with 31 goals as the Reds finished runners-up and secured a return to the Champions League for a first time in four years.
His exceptional scoring return resulted in a number of prestigious accolades including the Barclays Player of the Season, PFA Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year awards.
Unfortunately Suarez's outstanding exploits for the Merseysiders were often overshadowed by disciplinary problems, including lengthy suspensions for racial abuse and biting.
Responding to his star player's impending departure, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers commented: "The club have done all they can over a sustained period of time to try to keep Luis at Liverpool.
"It is with great reluctance and following lengthy discussions we have eventually agreed to his wishes to move to Spain for new experiences and challenges.
"We wish him and his young family well; we will always consider them to be friends."
It's great to finally draw a line underneath this and move on. In hindsight, he was always likely to leave this summer - even before the World Cup ban - and the club has done well to stand firm and get Barca to meet his buy-out clause, especially given he cannot actually play until the end of October. Thinking back to his reaction after Liverpool had blown a 3-0 lead against Crystal Palace in their penultimate game of the season, the writing was already on the wall. Suarez was clearly distraught because he wanted to give the club and fans the ultimate leaving present; a league title. There is no doubt he has a strong affection for Liverpool but after all the controversies, and with his wife's family based in Barcelona, the time was right to make a fresh start.
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Date:Friday July 11 2014
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