The mercurial forward is reportedly on the brink of completing a move to the Camp Nou, as per Mike Whalley of ESPN FC, but according to Tabarez, this is a deal that has been in the pipeline for the better part of eight months.
Tabarez, speaking to Sport 890, also claimed Liverpool tried to pull the plug on the agreement after Suarez’s sensational performances took the Reds tantalisingly close to the Premier League title.
Former Liverpool forward Stan Collymore summarised Tabarez’s claim on his Twitter account:
Here are Tabarez’s quotes in full, courtesy of MochineGun:
The news will certainly come as a shock to Liverpool supporters, who watched a fully committed Suarez plunder 31 goals and 12 assists in just 33 Premier League appearances last season, per WhoScored. Suarez looked like a man reborn throughout the 2013-14 campaign, behaving impeccably and cementing his status as one of the best forwards on the planet.
But Reds fans were left aghast by the antics of their player at the World Cup when he was captured biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini, just over a year after he’d done the same to Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic at Anfield.
Suarez was subsequently banned from all football for four months, but his latest undesirable antics don't look as though they've put off the Catalan giants, which have moved swiftly in an attempt to bring the 27-year-old to the Camp Nou.
His aggressive, effervescent style is sure to enthral the Blaugrana faithful should he eventually sign up, but Suarez has been warned by former tempestuous Barcelona forward Hristo Stoichkov he must get his act together if he is to flourish in Spain's top flight, as per Sport (via ESPN.co.uk):
He seems a really good player to me, one of the best forwards, with the character required to play for the biggest clubs. But the bites are going to be a problem—he is marked for the rest of his life.
To play at Barca with what he has done is a problem. All opponents, the referees and the press will make his life difficult. He will have to play with provocation and media attention which will leave him in permanent tension.
While there’s little doubt that clubs make agreements behind closed doors, these claims from Tabarez should be taken with a pinch of salt. Let's not forget that after starting the campaign in sensational form for the Reds, Suarez agreed to a brand new contract in December, making the former Ajax man one of the highest-paid players in the Premier League.
While at the time of Suarez’s contract extension there were murmurs about the deal merely being a preservation of Liverpool's investment, to sign a new agreement just a month after sanctioning a deal to sell the player to Barcelona at the end of the season would be extremely peculiar.
It'd be even more bizarre when you consider how desperate the Reds were to keep Suarez at the club despite his requests to leave last summer, as per Sid Lowe of The Guardian.
Instead of yielding to the player's demands, Liverpool fought tooth and nail to keep their No. 7 at Anfield, with owner John Henry choosing to ignore a £40 million release clause that was in the player's contract at the time, as per Alex Richards of The Mirror.
Subsequently, the notion that Liverpool would agree to cash in on the player just months into a season in which his conduct and performance had been impeccable is completely at odds with the major statement the club made by keeping him last summer. A statement that very nearly reaped the rewards of a Premier League title.
Of course, this means little in the grand scheme of things with Suarez seemingly on the brink of donning the famous Blaugrana strip. Plus, if there was any kind of agreement in place, the performances of the striker last season offered no indication that his mind was set on a move elsewhere.