In the back rooms at Camp Nou, directors agree that the signing of Suárez is the club’s number one priority and all are keen to ensure that the operation doesn’t turn into the soap opera of the summer.
Barcelona executives have been working to accelerate the operation and met with Liverpool officials in London this morning to try to find common ground in the attempt to bring the Uruguayan striker to Camp Nou.
Sources close to the negotiations have told AS that conversations between the two clubs have been positive and cordial. Another meeting has been agreed, although neither a date nor a place has been set for the second round of negotiations.
Suárez has been requested expressly by coach Luis Enrique and is believed to have a verbal, gentleman’s agreement with the Catalans. Attending Wednesday morning’s meeting were director of football management, Raúl Sanllehí, vice-president of the Sports Area Jordi Mestre i Masdeu and director general Antoni Rossich.
When all three directors are involved at this stage of negotiations, it generally implies that a deal is close – although no details have emerged about how close Barça are to landing the player, nor whether another player will be included as a makeweight in the operation.
Liverpool want to take Sánchez to Anfield but the Chilean is currently on holidays following his participation in the World Cup finals. Sánchez will also know that other clubs have expressed an interest in him and similarly, Pedro Rodríguez who Andoni Zubizarreta warned on Tuesday is “not for sale”.
Sánchez would be open to a move to Anfield, despite that he is rumoured to have a verbal agreement with Arsenal. Liverpool still believe that they can convince him.
Liverpool are willing to match and raise the Gunners’ bid for the player (€25m, according to some sources) but any resulting fee would be lower such Barça and Liverpool agree on a part-exchange.
Liverpool know that Suárez is set to leave, and when he does it will break the hearts of millions of their fans – which is why they are determined that his replacement must be the kind of player who will just as prolific and equally as adored back at Anfield.
This story was originally published on AS English. For the best sports news from Spain without picking up a dictionary, visit www.as.com/english
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