Luis Suarez Told to Quit Liverpool as Barcelona Target Aims Dig at British Media

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistJune 24, 2014

Liverpool's Luis Suárez  during the English Premier League soccer match between West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool at The Hawthorns stadium in West Bromwich, England, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014.  (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Rui Vieira/Associated Press

Luis Suarez's father-in-law and Uruguay teammates have told the Liverpool striker he should give up a future on Merseyside to join either Barcelona or Real Madrid.

Gustavo Balbi, who lives just outside the Catalonian city, believes it is time for his son-in-law to move on, reported by Spanish television and via John Cross and David Maddock of the Mirror:

Luis has nothing left to prove in England. It'd be the right time to move to Spain. It doesn't matter whether it's one team or the other (Madrid or Barcelona). He will not go to another team in England out of respect for Liverpool.

NATAL, BRAZIL - JUNE 23:  Luis Suarez of Uruguay looks on during press conference at the Dunas Arena in Natal on June 23, 2014 in Natal, Brazil.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Mundo Deportivo continues to lead reports suggesting Suarez could switch to Barca. As translated by 101 Great Goals, the Uruguayan striker is said to be "committed" to linking up with Luis Enrique's squad and that "talks between the clubs have begun."

Suarez's international teammates certainly believe it is the right time to leave Liverpool. Speaking to AS and reported via Nick Lustig of the Daily Star, Diego Forlan said, "He is a player who is in great physical and footballing condition and it would be very good for him to play at Real Madrid."

Diego Godin followed suit, saying, "Luis Suarez would be a success at Real and at any club in the world," per Marca and via Lustig.

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 02: Luis Suarez celebrates with Diego Forlan of Uruguay celebrates after he scored his team's first goal from a free kick during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Quarter Final match between Uruguay and Ghana at the So
Dominic Barnardt/Getty Images

Real Madrid are beginning to look like secondary contenders for Suarez's signature. Carmen Colino of AS suggests Radamel Falcao will instead sign for Los Blancos, while former Barca midfielder Gabri reveals it is Suarez's desire to play for the Camp Nou side, reported by Rik Sharma of the Daily Mail:

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.

Guillem Balague, Sky Sports' resident Spanish football expert, also indicates "Barcelona is the club he wants to play for," per his Bleacher Report UK column.

There are suggestions that Suarez's relationship with the British media could be set to bubble over again after he notched two goals to send England out of the World Cup. A constant receiver of jabs from the press, Suarez claimed he enjoyed overcoming the Three Lions because "before the game, too many people in England laughed about my attitude," per David Hytner of the The Guardian.

CARDIFF, WALES - MARCH 22:  Luis Suarez (3R) of Liverpool is congratulated by his manager Brendan Rodgers (L) at the final whistle after scoring a hat trick during his teams 6-3 victory during the Barclays Premier League match between Cardiff City and Liv
Michael Steele/Getty Images

Suarez stood by his claim in a later interview, per David McDonnell of the Mirror:

But what happened before the match - I did not want to attack anybody, only some media started making fun of me and you are in the media. You are in the media, you should know what happened and why they did that to me.

His attitude certainly can't be called into question after the fixture in which he played the role of match-winner. Suarez's stock is at an all-time high right now after he netted 31 goals in the recently finished Premier League season, and cleaned up with both the Football Writers' Association and Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year awards.

It's interesting to hear those around Suarez believe his time in England should come to an end. Be it his family, friends or teammates, reports continue to highlight those who insist he is better off elsewhere.

This may stem from Liverpool falling short of the Premier League title, despite producing a stunning season of attack-minded football under Brendan Rodgers. Suarez was the centrepiece of this ambitious campaign, but as the Reds surrendered their lead at the season's end, it's difficult to suggest they will ever receive a better opportunity to capture the domestic prize.

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 19:  Luis Suarez of Uruguay gestures during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Uruguay and England at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 19, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Barcelona are on the rebuild under Luis Enrique, who has already added Ivan Rakitic to his squad, per the club's official website. Having galvanised with steel in midfield, the Blaugrana need an extra dosing of cut-and-thrust forward play to ensure they challenge the attacking output of both Madrid clubs. Suarez can provide this in abundance.

One lethal performance at the World Cup has nudged the aforementioned reports into life. Suarez is expected to play a key role in Uruguay's must-win showdown with Italy on Tuesday, where he will once again have to battle through his recent injury problems to grab a result. Should he do that to great success, expect the morning's papers to explode.