Sunday 18 March 2018

Suarez edges closer to £75m Barcelona switch

Luis Suarez looks set to complete his move from Liverpool to Barcelona within the next 48 hours. Photo: AFP PHOTO/ JAVIER SORIANO
Luis Suarez looks set to complete his move from Liverpool to Barcelona within the next 48 hours. Photo: AFP PHOTO/ JAVIER SORIANO

John Percy and Matt Law

Luis Suarez is edging towards a £75m move to Barcelona as Liverpool step up their own transfer activity by considering a £10m bid for Swansea left-back Ben Davies.

Suarez'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 Suarez'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 Suarez's imminent departure, and is expected to complete the signing of Serbian international Lazar Markovic today.

The Benfica winger flew to England last 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.

Davies has now emerged as a realistic target after Liverpool made an inquiry to the Welsh club yesterday. Davies is also wanted by Tottenham Hotspur, but Rodgers is weighing up a raid on his former club to solve what has proved a problematic position. Both Liverpool and Spurs are prepared to meet the £10m 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 yesterday. The 19-year-old will cost around £10m 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.

"I myself am still thinking about it," Origi has said. "It is true that there are offers from all over Europe. Now I have to look carefully where I will grow as a player and as a person.

""I think things will be clearer within two weeks at the most."


The transfer of Benfica winger Lazar Markovic is much more advanced with the Serbia international expected on Merseyside in the next 36 hours - and possibly as early as Thursday - to finalise his move.

Having triggered the 20-year-old's release clause of £20million Markovic is heading to Merseyside for a medical and is likely to become manager Rodgers' fourth signing of the summer after Southampton duo Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana and Bayer Leverkusen's Emre Can.

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 Atletico Madrid over agreeing a fee for Luis, who wants to move to Stamford Bridge. There is a release clause of around £19m in his Atletico 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 Atletico.

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. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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