Liverpool fans may want to hide behind the sofa: Reports are beginning to surface suggesting the Merseyside club and Barcelona have opened talks ahead of a prospective move for Luis Suarez.
Mundo Deportivo, which has been a lead source of this transfer saga, claims via the translation of 101 Great Goals that Suarez is "committed" to a Camp Nou switch and that "talks between the clubs have begun."
Duncan Castles, writer for the Sunday Times, reveals comments from the player's father-in-law that add weight to the belief Suarez might want out of Anfield this summer:
Such a deal would mark quite a turnaround for Suarez, who has long been linked with a move to Real Madrid. Carmen Colino of AS believes Radamel Falcao is waiting on Los Blancos' call after the World Cup, an occurrence that would see any future decision on Suarez's whereabouts become much simpler, per Ben Lyttleton of the Guardian:
If reports from Spain true that Falcao agreed to join Real Madrid post-WC, then surely halves options for Luis Suarez. Barca, or he stays...— Ben Lyttleton (@benlyt) June 23, 2014
Former Barcelona midfielder Gabri—who is "great friends" with Suarez according to Rik Sharma of the Daily Mail and via Spanish television station Esport—believes the Uruguayan striker wants to make the change:
Luis Suarez has always wanted to play for the club and defend the Barcelona shirt. He has always wanted to head here someday, so I would be very pleased [if he did]. I also believe the club want to buy him. He would suit it well, he is very enthusiastic and would fit in nicely at the club.
Does Luis Suarez owe Liverpool fans at least another season?
Gabri goes on to state, "The family of his wife are also in Barcelona," indicating another reason why Suarez may wish to leave Merseyside. Such comments offer a contrast to those attributed to Edinson Cavani—Suarez's international teammate—who revealed Real Madrid are the Liverpool striker's "dream club" back in October, per the James Andrew of the Daily Mail.
It may be the case that, like so many South American players, representing one of Spain's elite pair is a major career goal for Suarez. Even so, the majority of Liverpool fans would be extremely disappointed to lose a player they have helped nurture across the past year.
Suarez hasn't always been the 31-goal Premier League top scorer in England—having been charged for racially abusing Patrice Evra and biting Branislav Ivanovic during his Anfield tenure—so many would be upset to see him leave now both he and Liverpool are flying with confidence.
It's worth noting that Suarez took a pot-shot at the English media after eliminating the Three Lions from the World Cup with two goals, but Rob Harris of the Associated Press indicates little should be read into that development:
Luis Suarez complaining about treatment by the English media again today is in no way part of a push to leave Liverpool I'm sure— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) June 23, 2014
It would be hugely ironic if Suarez secured a transfer before the season in which the Reds return to the Champions League, a competition he longs to star in.
For Barcelona fans, the thought of Suarez joining Lionel Messi and Neymar must be hugely exciting. Although the Blaugrana need an out-and-out No. 9, the trickery on show with such a trio holds great potential. Each are blessed with tremendous finishing skills, elusiveness on the ball and the confidence to do something special.
Suarez's arrival would also offer a direct retort to Real Madrid's magic trio of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema, a thought that is perhaps in the mind of new Barca boss Luis Enrique as he prepares for a challenging campaign in Catalonia.
The rumours never cease with Suarez, so it's entirely possible such a link will be crushed in the following days. Right now, Liverpool and Barcelona fans are sure to be watching on with a hint of nervousness. This would undoubtedly be the transfer of the summer, especially as it would see Suarez turn his back on Liverpool just as the going got good.