Luis Suarez could be set for a sad end to his Barcelona career after being deemed surplus to requirements by new manager Ronald Koeman.
The Catalan giants are in a “tense stand-off” with the Uruguay international and are willing to banish him to the stands for the rest of the season if he does not leave this summer, according to Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens at ESPN.
Barcelona are happy to let Suarez leave for Juventus for “next-to-nothing” but are refusing to pay off the final year of his contract. Suarez disagrees with the club’s stance and thinks Barca “should pay him the final year of his deal in full if they want him to leave now.”
Suarez’s current deal runs until the end of the 2020-21 season and will automatically renew if he plays 60 percent of the team’s games. He earns a gross annual salary of €25 million ($29.6m) at the Camp Nou.
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Koeman Sends Clear Message to Suarez
Koeman has already informed Suarez he’s not part of his plans and seemed to ram that message home on Saturday. The striker was not named in Barcelona’s 25-man squad for their pre-season friendly against Nastic.
The Dutchman went on to use a different 11 players in each half of the match, allowing him to cast his eye over the majority of his squad in a match scenario.
Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho, and Antoine Griezmann were all on target for the Catalan giants, while young attackers Francisco Trincao, Pedri, and Konrad de la Fuente all impressed in the game.
What Next for Suarez?
Speculation persists the Suarez will complete a move to Juventus this summer. Coach Andrea Pirlo wants a replacement for outgoing striker Gonzalo Higuain and discussed the situation with Sky Sport Italia.
“I need the striker as soon as possible. But the market is long. There will be time to be able to work until October 4.”
Suarez still has a few hoops to jump through before he can become a Juventus player, not least negotiating his departure from Barcelona. He also needs to pass a language test in order to gain Italian citizenship.
It’s still not certain where Suarez will play his football next season, although Barcelona appear to have made it clear that after 283 games and 198 goals for the club he’s no longer welcome at the Camp Nou.