Barcelona signs Suarez from Liverpool despite ban

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 11, 2014 at 1:29 pm •  Published: July 11, 2014
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When Suarez is eventually eligible to play again, Barcelona will be able to deploy a formidable front line including Lionel Messi and Neymar, as the club rebuilds under new coach Luis Enrique after its first season without a major trophy in six years.

Suarez's transfer marks the second successive year that the man voted English football's top player moved to Spain, following in Gareth Bale's speedy footsteps. Suarez's transfer was a far smoother, less drawn-out saga compared with Bale's move, and his own tactics last summer when Liverpool managed to prevent its star from leaving Anfield.

"It is with great reluctance and following lengthy discussions we have eventually agreed to his wishes to move to Spain for new experiences and challenges," Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said.

Having extracted from Barca almost double the 40 million pounds ($68 million) Arsenal valued Suarez at last year, Liverpool has funds to reinvest in the squad. American owner John Henry has already spent around $70 million on striker Rickie Lambert, and midfielders Adam Lallana and Emre Can.

Just how reliant Liverpool was on Suarez will become quickly apparent. It was only with Suarez's goals that Liverpool mounted an unexpected but ultimately unsuccessful challenge for the Premier League title last season.

"If there is one thing the history of this great club teaches us, it is that Liverpool FC is bigger than any individual," Rodgers said.

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Rob Harris can be followed at www.twitter.com/RobHarris