BARCELONA have confirmed the signing of Luis Suarez from Liverpool on a five-year contract.
The deal is thought to be in the region of £75 million, which would be a club record fee. The Uruguayan will have his medical next week before being officially presented to the fans and media.
The Catalan giants pulled the trigger on the deal despite the striker being banned from all “football activities” until the end of October after biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini during the 2014 World Cup.
Barcelona have their own ban hanging above their heads after breaching rules by signing international players under the age of 18. The 14-month transfer embargo is currently suspended, pending an appeal.
Suarez will wear the No. 9 shirt after serving his suspension, taking the number from the departed Alexis Sanchez who signed for Arsenal yesterday.
It ends a three-and-a-half year spell at Anfield after signing from Ajax for £22.8 million in January 2011. Within that time he scored 82 goals in 133 games, including notching 31 last year to earn a share of the European Golden Shoe award with Cristiano Ronaldo.
“It is with a heavy heart that I leave Liverpool for a new life and new challenges in Spain,” Suarez said in a statement. “Both me and my family have fallen in love with this club and with the city.
“But most of all I have fallen in love with the incredible fans. You have always supported me and we, as a family, will never forget it, we will always be Liverpool supporters.
“I hope you can all understand why I have made this decision. This club did all they could to get me to stay, but playing and living in Spain, where my wife’s family live, is a lifelong dream and ambition. I believe now the timing is right.
“I wish Brendan Rodgers and the team well for the future. The club is in great hands and I’m sure will be successful again next season.
“I am very proud I have played my part in helping to return Liverpool to the elite of the Premier League and in particular back into the Champions League.
“Thank you again for some great moments and memories. You’ll Never Walk Alone.”