Luis Suarez has reportedly agreed personal terms with Atletico Madrid as his exit away from Barcelona draws closer, though there are still some issues to work out before the deal can materialise.
Ronald Koeman has already made it clear to Suarez he does not see him as a first-team regular, with the Dutchman looking sign fresh blood and keen to bring in Memphis Depay from Lyon.
But Suarez is one of the highest-paid players at Barcelona, earning around £400,000-per-week, so the Catalans are looking to ship his enormous salary off their wage bill if he will not be playing in the team.
The forward had been heavily linked with a move to Juventus, even flying to Italy to get an Italian passport, but his preference has always been to remain in Spain and that now looks more likely.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Suarez has now reached an agreement on personal terms with Atletico Madrid and is interested in working with Diego Simeone.
The former Liverpool star has been offered a two-year deal while he has been in constant contact with Atletico CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin and Simeone, which has convinced him to join the club.
But, there are still some issues left to overcome: on Suarez’s side, he believes Barcelona should pay him the last year of his contract, which runs out in the summer of 2021.
But they are not willing to do so and a compromise needs to be reached, with the club previously suggesting to Juventus that they pay out the player’s final year with a transfer fee being waived.
Atletico also have a stumbling block of their own to deal with, as they need to sell Diego Costa first before they can afford to sign Suarez.
While Koeman is willing to bring Suarez back into the squad should the transfer not materialise, he was left out of the team that played Elche in the Joan Gamper Trophy on Saturday and seems to have played his last match for Barcelona.