Thursday 25 December 2014

Luis Suarez on verge of £75m Barcelona move as Liverpool line up Swansea's Ben Davies

Matt Law

Published 10/07/2014 | 00:48

Barcelona are looking to add Luis Suarez to their ranks this summer
Barcelona are looking to add Luis Suarez to their ranks this summer

Luis Suárez is edging towards a £75 million move to Barcelona as Liverpool step up their own transfer activity by considering a £10 million bid for Swansea City’s Ben Davies.

Suárez’s exit from Anfield could be sealed in the next 48 hours after the two clubs agreed the final details on the deal, with the transfer held up while Fifa arranges a date for the appeal against the Uruguay striker’s four-month ban.

The Uruguayan Football Association’s appeal is likely to be heard this week, as it tries to reduce the suspension, and Suárez’s move to the Nou Camp will be pushed through after that.

Negotiations between Liverpool and Barcelona are highly advanced, and the only other delay has been over the schedule of payments, but the forward is expected to be presented by the Spanish giants in the next few days.

Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool manager, is focusing on strengthening his squad regardless of Suárez’s imminent departure, and is expected to complete the signing of Serbian international Lazar Markovic on Thursday.

The Benfica winger flew to England on Wednesday night and will undergo a medical at Melwood before completing the formalities of the deal. Markovic has a buy-out clause in his contract and he will join Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Emre Can as the latest new arrival on Merseyside.

Swansea left-back Davies has now emerged as a realistic target after Liverpool made an inquiry to the Welsh club on Wednesday. Davies is also wanted by Tottenham Hotspur, but Rodgers is weighing up a raid on his old club to solve what has proved a problematic position. Both Liverpool and Spurs are prepared to meet the £10 million valuation for the Wales international, who is in Chicago with the Swansea squad.

Liverpool are also confident of signing Divock Origi, the Belgium international, after holding initial talks on Wednesday. The 19-year-old will cost around £10 million from Lille but the Ligue 1 club have insisted he goes back on loan next season as part of the deal. Spurs are believed to have made a late bid to sign the forward, but Liverpool do not envisage any problems in completing the deal.

Meanwhile, Chelsea have stepped up their efforts to make left back Filipe Luis the club’s permanent replacement for Ashley Cole. Roma signed Cole this week and Chelsea want 28-year-old Luis to step into his position next season.

Chelsea have reopened negotiations with Atlético Madrid over agreeing a fee for Luis, who wants to move to Stamford Bridge. There is a release clause of around £19 million in his Atlético contract, but Chelsea have been reluctant to meet that figure.

The Blues, though, are trying again to strike a deal with the Spanish club, from whom they have already signed striker Diego Costa.

Argentina left-back Marcos Rojo, who plays for Sporting Lisbon, is one alternative if Chelsea cannot settle on a price with Atlético.

Signing a specialised left-back is now a priority for Chelsea following the captures of striker Costa and midfielder Cesc Fabregas.

Cesar Azpilicueta played most of last season at left-back for Chelsea, but his natural position is on the right.

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