Barcelona target in-demand Liverpool striker after Santos reject Neymar bid.
Barcelona will reportedly turn their attention to Liverpool striker Luis Suarez after falling behind in their bid to land Brazilian star Neymar from Santos.
A deal was supposedly wrapped up for the 21-year-old to move to the Nou Camp, before Santos claimed they had fallen into disagreement with Barcelona chiefs over a fee for their star forward.
Real Madrid are now expected to up their bid for the Brazilian, and the Bernebeu may now be the destination for one of the world’s most highly rated young players.
Barcelona will still be hoping to strengthen upfront though, and will make Suarez their next target, after the Uruguayan has impressed with 30 goals and some dazzling displays at Anfield this season.
The 26-year-old was the favourite to win the PFA Player of the Year award, though he missed out to Tottenham winger Gareth Bale, perhaps due to his controversial bite on Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in a match between the two sides.
This latest incident has made Suarez ever-more unpopular in English football as his time here has been marred by controversy, and it is thought that the former Ajax man himself may be tempted by a move abroad to escape the British media.
Barcelona would be an ideal destination for him, as their attacking and technical style of play would suit the exciting forward’s strengths and skills, and they are said to be willing to offer as much as £50million to bring him to La Liga.
Tito Vilanova is keen to improve on his title-winning side, as they have struggled for consistency in the latter half of the season, often being found wanting against the bigger teams in particular. The Barca boss will be under pressure to retain the team’s title and push on in the Champions League, where they were eliminated at the semi-final stage in humiliating fashion to Bayern Munich, losing 7-0 on aggregate to the Bundesliga champions.
Bayern are another club that have been linked with a move for Suarez, along with Juventus and Manchester City, though Barca will now step up their interest after their surprise failure to land their main target Neymar.
A number of players could also leave the Nou Camp in the summer transfer window, as squad members such as Alexis Sanchez, Cristian Tello and Thiago Alcantara are expected to be moved on. Interestingly, both Sanchez and Tello have been linked with Liverpool, and could be used as part of the Suarez deal if Barca’s cash offer is not seen as sufficient.
Suarez has previously been compared by Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers to Barca star Lionel Messi, and fans may now see the two combine together and terrorize defences in Spain.
Barcelona have also recently been linked with Reds goalkeeper Pepe Reina.