Updates from Sunday, July 13
Barcelona will not be allowed to publicly unveil new £75 million signing Luis Suarez while he remains banned for biting, FIFA has confirmed
There have been suggestions Barcelona could hold a similar event for Suarez in a non-football venue to get around the four-month ban imposed on the Uruguay striker for biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini, but FIFA has now confirmed to Press Association Sport that any such event will not be permitted while the ban remains in force.
FIFA's head of media Delia Fischer told Press Association Sport: 'The ban relates to all football-related activity. He cannot be in a football-related public event irrespective of the venue.
'He cannot even be involved in a football-related charity event.'
Liverpool announced on Friday that Luis Suarez will be leaving the club after a deal was struck with Barcelona.
The Reds confirmed the news with a statement on their official website:
Liverpool FC confirms that Luis Suarez will be leaving the club after a transfer agreement was reached with FC Barcelona. The player now has permission to complete the usual formalities, which will then conclude the transfer.
We would like to thank Luis for his contribution and the role he played in helping bring Champions League football back to Anfield.
Everyone at Liverpool Football Club wishes Luis and his family well for the future.
Per Barcelona's official website, Suarez will be signing a five-year contract. He will wear the No. 9 jersey, as noted by 101 Great Goals:
Chris Bascombe of The Telegraph also reported the fee the Reds would be receiving for their star:
Liverpool have reached an agreement with Barcelona for the £75 million transfer of Luis Suárez, the club confirmed on Friday.
Suarez will move to the Nou Camp for the full value of his exit clause following a second week of talks between the clubs, and the Uruguayan. He will now undergo a medical in Spain next week before the transfer - a five year deal - is formally concluded.
Suarez also released a statement via Liverpool's website, expressing his reasons for leaving. Notably, he revealed the Reds did everything to try to convince him to stay:
It is with a heavy heart that I leave Liverpool for a new life and new challenges in Spain. Both me and my family have fallen in love with this club and with the city.
But most of all I have fallen in love with the incredible fans. You have always supported me and we, as a family, will never forget it, we will always be Liverpool supporters.
I hope you can all understand why I have made this decision. This club did all they could to get me to stay, but playing and living in Spain, where my wife's family live, is a lifelong dream and ambition. I believe now the timing is right.
The eventual fee paid by Barcelona is believed to be significantly lower than the release clause inserted in his Liverpool contract.
Spanish football and Bleacher Report UK expert Guillem Balague reports the deal is worth £64 million:
The figures of Suárez cost: clause was €100 milion. FCB paid €81. The sale of Alexis (€34.6+3 depending targets) helped reduce the cost— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) July 11, 2014
Suarez spent three-and-a-half seasons with Liverpool. He emerged as one of the most prolific goalscorers in Europe over that time, and he reached new heights by netting 31 goals in 33 Premier League appearances last campaign.
However, the 2012/13 season ended on a low note when he was handed a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic. It was the second such issue involving the striker, who was suspended for seven matches after a 2010 incident while with Ajax.
Then, shockingly, he did it again at the World Cup. This time he sunk his teeth into Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini and was handed a major punishment by FIFA, which included a ban from nine international matches as well as from football activity for a period of four months.
Unfortunately, those two extremes are what Suarez brings to the table: an immense talent who can be prone to some poor choices that force his club into difficult predicaments.
Will Suarez continue his rapid rise?
That said, in the world of football, where dynamic strikers capable of carrying an attack are tough to come by, the skill is always going to shine through. For clubs in need of a spark, Suarez's upside is more than enough to offset the mistakes he's made.
If Suarez is able to keep a level head, it's impossible to doubt his immense value. The 27-year-old Uruguayan international possesses a well-rounded offensive skill set, highlighted by his ability to bury chances with terrific efficiency.
The Reds noted he was rated as the top player in the Premier League by WhoScored.com this past season:
His absence is going to be felt in a major way at Liverpool. The club still have Daniel Sturridge and he shone alongside Suarez, but the Uruguayan was undoubtedly the Reds' go-to player. He was forced to carry the attack for extended stretches during his stay at Anfield.
Replacing him will be an uphill battle for Brendan Rodgers, who has done a tremendous job building the squad and was rewarded with a new deal. There are a limited number of players capable of filling the role, and most, if not all, of them aren't for sale. He's a special talent.
Rodgers commented, via the Reds' official website:
The club have done all they can over a sustained period of time to try to keep Luis at Liverpool. It is with great reluctance and following lengthy discussions we have eventually agreed to his wishes to move to Spain for new experiences and challenges. We wish him and his young family well; we will always consider them to be friends.
The Daily Mail's Dominic King sums up the impact of Suarez at Liverpool:
A magnificent player who provided a catalogue of extraordinary moments (good & bad). A big loss but @LFC in much better shape than last year— Dominic King (@DominicKing_DM) July 11, 2014
Liverpool must now re-invest the cash wisely. Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert have already arrived as attacking reinforcements, and Wilfried Bony is the latest to be linked to the club, per the Daily Mail's Sam Cunningham.
But all eyes are now on Suarez to see how he handles the move. He has scored at every stop, including Groningen and Nacional before Ajax and Liverpool. That's not a concern. But there's always a chance those mental mistakes return. He must make sure those remain in the past.
If so, he will be a tremendous transfer acquisition. If not, Barcelona will have to keep accepting the setbacks in order to reap the benefits of his elite production.
Suarez controls the fate of his own legacy.