Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has told striker Luis Suarez he is not in his plans for next season.
The Dutchman told the 33-year-old Uruguayan in a telephone call on Monday morning that he is now surplus to requirements at the Camp Nou, according to RAC1.
Barcelona’s next step will be to meet with the striker’s legal team “to settle the footballer’s contract.”
Suarez has a contract that runs until the end of next season and will automatically renew if he plays a set amount of games.
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Suarez Wants to Stay
News that Suarez is no longer wanted at Barcelona is not a great surprise given the Uruguayan’s age. He will turn 34 in January and the club have been linked all season with a move to bring in Lautaro Martinez as his long-term replacement.
Yet Suarez had made it clear in a recent interview with Juan I. Irigoyen at El Pais that he wants to stay at Barcelona and would even accept being a substitute at the Camp Nou.
“Yes, as long as I am counted on, I want to continue contributing as much as I can. I have felt the support of the people since I arrived and that also gives me a lot of strength to continue.”
“Obviously. I would accept it [being a substitute] here as I always accept it in my career. Competition is always good and if the coach considers that I should start from the bench, I have no problem helping with the role they give me. I think I can still contribute a lot to this club.”
However, Barcelona must sell before they can buy and need to offload some of their high earners if they are to dip into the transfer market this summer.
What Now For Suarez?
Suarez could now depart Barcelona in the coming days, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.
Several clubs have already expressed an interest in the Uruguay international. Serie A sides Inter, AC Milan, and Lazio are all keen, according to Sport’s Lluis Miguelsanz.
Former club Ajax are also a possible option. Manager Erik ten Had told Johan Inan at Algemeen Dagblad that the club had discussed signing Suarez.
“Of course I talked about it with Marc, but at the moment it is not an issue,” he said.
“If he wants to come back himself, please. You have players that you get as replacements and you have players in the category that they give an incredible boost to the team. Suárez falls in that category.”
It’s not clear yet what Suarez’s next move will be but what does look increasingly certain is that the striker’s time at the Camp Nou is almost certainly up.