Saturday 16 December 2017

Sanchez holding up Suarez deal after Reds agree €79m fee with Barcelona - reports

Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez

Liverpool's attempts to persuade Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez to move to Anfield could mean Luis Suarez's transfer to the Nou Camp will not be concluded until next week at the earliest.

After discussions between the two clubs, Catalan television channel 'TV3' has suggested that the deal to bring the controversial striker to the Nou Camp has been agreed.

While the fee has reportedly been finalised, the conclusion of the deal will depend on agreeing payment terms, as Barcelona are hoping to secure the sale of Chilean player Alexis Sanchez in the coming hours.

The two parties held talks on Wednesday and Press Association Sport understands Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre left that meeting confident a deal could be done which met their valuation.

Liverpool insist nothing has changed in that regard from their point of view and the only hold up to the transfer going through is negotiations surrounding Sanchez.

After Wednesday's meeting an Anfield source said there were "sensible expectations on both sides".

The Merseysiders' expectations extend to the full value of Suarez's buy-out clause, inserted into the lucrative £200,000-a-week new deal he signed in December.

Whether that amounts to a pure cash sale or cash-plus-Sanchez has yet to be decided.

The Chile international reportedly favours a move to Arsenal, but Barcelona would like him to move to Anfield in order to expedite their move for Suarez and lessen the financial impact of the transfer.

Liverpool are still actively pursuing the option of Sanchez being included in the deal, but talks with the player and his representatives are likely to continue into next week.

Until a definitive outcome has been reached on that the value of Suarez's move to Spain will not be finalised.

While the exit of Suarez remains Liverpool's primary focus, they are still continuing with their recruitment drive and, having already signed Southampton duo Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana, in addition to Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Emre Can, they are trying to bring a third Saints man to Anfield in the form of Dejan Lovren.

Manager Brendan Rodgers is keen to add reinforcements at centre-back and a bid has been lodged at St Mary's.

That has been rejected, but there are suggestions the Croatia international is unhappy with that and wants the opportunity to play Champions League football, which is an issue Southampton's new manager Ronald Koeman will have to address as he gets ready to welcome the players back for pre-season.

Were Rodgers to succeed in signing Lovren, it would most likely signal the end of Daniel Agger's eight-year Liverpool career, with the club looking to offload him for between £10m and £12m.

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