The Barcelona futures of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez are the source of much speculation currently as the fallout from the club’s embarrassing Champions League exit continues.
Suarez is one of several players being tipped to leave the Camp Nou in the summer as part of a shake-up of the squad under new manager Ronald Koeman.
Meanwhile, Messi’s future is also in doubt. The Argentine has told Koeman he “does not see his future clearly” and is leaning more towards leaving than staying at the Camp Nou, according to RAC1.
Neither player is yet to comment publicly on the speculation, but Suarez’s social media activity is likely to interest fans. The striker has taken to Instagram stories with an enigmatic message amid all the transfer speculation.
Ig story Suárez: "Never forget that you are the architect of your own destiny" [luissuarez9] pic.twitter.com/snlx8bizT3
— barcacentre (@barcacentre) August 21, 2020
Both players are currently contracted to the club until the end of next season, while Suarez’s deal includes a clause that means it will automatically renew if he plays 60 percent of the team’s games in 2020-21.
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What’s Going On With Suarez and Barcelona?
Suarez finished the season with 21 goals in all competitions for Barcelona despite missing a chunk of the campaign after undergoing knee surgery at the start of the year.
Yet he has come in for criticism from fans throughout the campaign for a perceived lack of mobility, pace, and for a poor record away from home in the Champions League.
Barcelona have been heavily linked with a move for Lautaro Martinez, viewed as Suarez’s long-term, replacement, but talks have stalled for now and finances are an issue at the Camp Nou due to the impact of Covid-19.
According to Ovacion, Suarez is not interested in leaving Barcelona this summer and feels his goalscoring record stands up to scrutiny.
Where Could Suarez Go?
Yet speculation continues with former club Ajax one of several teams linked with a move for the 33-year-old. Journalist Enzo Olivera has reported the Eredivisie side are preparing to make an offer for the veteran striker.
Meanwhile, Koeman has told NOS that fellow striker Antoine Griezmann may get a more central role next season after largely being played out wide in 2019-20 which may spell bad news for Suarez.
“The same goes for Antoine Griezmann. He is not a traditional winger, so you have to play him in his own position, in a role that suits him and where he can showcase his abilities. You have to know your players as a coach and ensure you get the best out of them.”
Griezmann is one of several attackers Koeman has at his disposal for next season and means the club do not lack for options should Suarez’s glittering career at the club come to an end.
Ousmane Dembele is back to full fitness after a lengthy injury absence, 17-year-old Ansu Fati is expected to be officially promoted to the first team, new signing Francisco Trincao has arrived from Braga, and Martin Braithwaite is also available and has returned to pre-season training early.