Uruguay's World Cup hero Luis Suarez is moving toward a summer move to Barcelona, according to Catalan newspaper El Mundo Deportivo.
The striker scored both goals as La Celeste beat England 2-1 in Group D of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil on Thursday and is now reportedly close to a move from Liverpool to La Liga, as summarised by 101 Great Goals:
Luis Suarez features on the El Mundo Deportivo front page today with the claim that the Liverpool striker’s move to Barcelona is at an “advanced stage”. [...]
El Mundo suggest that Suarez’s contract renewal last December comes with a release clause of 85 million euros, but is significantly lower for foreign clubs, to the tune of around 65 million euros.
The Reds' 27-year-old striker top scored in the Premier League last season with 31 goals as Liverpool just missed out on a first top-flight title since 1990.
However, their second-place finish does mean a return to Champions League football next season for Brendan Rodgers' side, a potentially key factor in keeping Suarez at the club.
The Northern Irishman was able to hang on to the former Ajax man last summer—despite a bid from Arsenal—and will be desperate to do the same during this transfer window.
He will have been buoyed by Suarez's proclamations last month that he is happy at Anfield having signed a new contract in December, per Sky Sports:
"I signed the contract because I love it here and I'm so happy here. If you're not happy here you don't sign any contract."
Will Suarez be at Liverpool next season?
However, there is little doubt that Liverpool will have to ward off several big-money bids if they are to keep their star man at Anfield.
Suarez has also been widely rumoured as a target for La Liga giants Real Madrid, who are reportedly prepared to pay £68 million for the player, per Rhys Turrell in the Daily Star.
After his performance against England in Sao Paulo the potential number of suitors are only going to increase as he showed his true quality, per Sky Sports' David Jones:
Never seen a player with the hunger and will to win like Suarez. The guy is sensational even when half fit.— DAVID JONES (@DavidJonesSky) June 19, 2014
It is essential for Liverpool to keep hold of the Uruguayan if they want to compete on a domestic and European level next season.
There is arguably no better striker in the world currently—hence the interest from the likes of Barca and Real—and no matter the money they might potentially receive, he is all but irreplaceable.