Barcelona striker Luis Suarez has reportedly rejected a move to Italian giants, Juventus.
The Uruguayan forward was reportedly told by new Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman upon his arrival that his services were no longer required at the club, with other senior squad members including Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal either departed or set to exit Catalonia this summer.
Koeman is keen to oversee a new era at Barça following his appointment, and now has the assurance that Lionel Messi will remain at Camp Nou for his debut campaign at the helm.
Suarez, however, isn’t apart of his plans and the club are working hard to secure the signing of Lyon captain Memphis Depay to seemingly replace the 33-year-old. Although, football journalist Fabrizio Romano understands Barça will have to sell the Uruguayan before they can fund a deal for the Dutchman.
And the club’s attempts to oversee Suarez’s departure this summer have reportedly taken a blow, with RAC1 (via SPORT) understanding that the Barça man has turned down a proposal from Serie A giants Juventus and will now explore alternative options.
The source notes that Suarez’s primary reason for rejecting a move to Turin was due to his inability to attain an Italian passport before 6 October, which would mean he’d be ineligible to play in next season’s Champions League.
The Spanish giants had earlier attempted to hasten Suarez’s potential move to Juve by saying they’d pay off part of the final year of the Uruguayan’s contract at the club – worth around £15m.
Nevertheless, with I Bianconeri seemingly out of the picture and Barcelona desperate to get one of the highest earners of their books, Atletico Madrid have emerged as front-runners.
Los Rojiblancos were keen on acquiring Suarez even when an exit to Turin looked a sure bet. Diego Simeone is, of course, an admirer of his fellow South American’s talents and the former Liverpool and Ajax Amsterdam star is understood to be keen on staying in Spain.
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Edited by Tiyani wa ka Mabasa