Luis Suarez left Barcelona in tears in the summer of 2020 when he departed the Camp Nou after six years, 13 trophies and 198 goals in 283 games for the Catalan giants.
The Uruguayan moved to La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid, winning the title in his first season, but has struggled for game time in 2021-22 and has already asked Barcelona about the possibility of a shock return, as reported by Ferran Correas at Diario Sport.
Suarez met Barcelona president Joan Laporta at the Ballon d’Or ceremony in November 2021 and “offered” his services to his former club. The striker was at the ceremony to hand his good friend Lionel Messi his seventh Golden Ball trophy.
Laporta made it clear to Suarez that his return was “not contemplated” by the club and that Barca had “other objectives.” Barca went on to sign Adama Traore, Ferran Torres, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January.
The Catalans have been tipped to further strengthen the attack in the summer but a move for the 35-year-old is not on the agenda. Meanwhile, Suarez has been offered a one-year extension but isn’t too happy with his lack of game time at Atletico currently.
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Barcelona Searching For a New No. 9?
Barcelona have already confirmed Aubameyang will wear the No. 9 shirt next season but the Catalans continue to be linked with a host of attackers ahead of the summer transfer window.
Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland, Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich, and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah have all been mentioned as potential targets. However, the club’s enormous debts will make any big-name signings difficult.
Lewandowski’s name has been mentioned regularly, as he is out of contract in 2023 and yet to agree an extension, but Barca are growing pessimistic about the possibility of a deal, as reported by Javier Miguel at Diario AS.
Bayern Munich remain unwilling to sell the Poland international and would rather see him leave on a free transfer next summer rather than sanction a sale now. Former Bayern star Javi Martinez has made it clear just how tough it is to leave the Bundesliga side
Martinez told El Larguero, “Bayern’s issue is that there is no clause. If they don’t want to sell you, you’re screwed.”
Ansu Fati To Be Barcelona’s No. 9?
One player who could step up and add goals to Barcelona’s attack is fit-again Ansu Fati. The teenager has missed most of the season through injury but made his return in the 2-1 win over Real Mallorca as a substitute.
Coach Xavi has already admitted he sees the young Spain international as more of a No. 9 than a winger when he spoke about Fati after the victory over Mallorca at the Camp Nou, as reported by Football Espana.
“I’ve tested him out as a No.9, because I think he has to play in the penalty area. He’s a special player, who scores goals. They hit him accidentally and go in,” he said. “I see him more as a No.9, than a winger. He doesn’t have the pace or physical ability back yet, but he’s happy.”
Fati’s talent and goalscoring ability are not in doubt but there are still question marks over the youngster’s fitness due to the injury troubles that have kept him sidelined for the majority of the last two seasons.