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“Really tough” – Ronald Koeman explains major Barcelona transfer regret

Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has admitted he regrets that Luis Suarez was sold to La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid rather than a foreign team like Juventus.

The Uruguay international has shone for Atletico since leaving Barcelona in the summer, where he was also a star player for many years.

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It now looks a bit of a mistake to let Suarez go, with the Catalan giants perhaps feeling that he was ageing and past his best, but that’s clearly not the case.

Now, to rub salt into the wounds, Suarez’s goals for Atletico could help establish Diego Simeone’s side as title favourites this season as the likes of Barca and Real Madrid struggle to meet their usual standards.

It’s easy to see why Koeman would find this frustrating, with the Dutch tactician explaining that it was tough to see Suarez join a rival, though he also stands by the decision as it was a way of showing respect to a great player.

“It’s part of your job. You speak to the club — and when I came as a coach to Barcelona, we had our opinions and I had the information out of the club — and then finally you make decisions,” Koeman told The Athletic.

“You need to make these decisions because if it goes well then it’s OK, but if it doesn’t go well, then it needs to be my way and that’s the most important thing.

“We are changing and of course, it would have been better that Luis Suarez signed for Juventus instead of Atletico Madrid because he’s still in the Spanish league.

“But that kind of decision, we had to make it, really tough ones but showing respect to the player, and I think that’s really important. And I still agree with what we did at that time.”

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