Luis Suarez set to join Atlético Madrid after Juventus move falls through
Giorgio Chiellini's arms can breath a sigh of relief
Luis Suarez is set to join Atlético Madrid for free from Barcelona after Ronald Koeman made it clear the striker was not in his plans moving forward, reports Fabrizio Romano.
Luis Suarez has already accepted by days to join Atlético Madrid! He’s now parting ways with Barça to move on as a free agent.
This deal will be key for Àlvaro Morata > Juventus [Dzeko/Juve deal agreed but stalling because of Milik problems] ⚪️🔴 #FCB #Atleti @MatteMoretto
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) September 21, 2020
Suárez has been a key part of much of Barcelona's success over the past six years, but has come to symbolise why they are now failing too. He can't play with the same intensity that once made him so brilliant both on and off the ball. And that lack of energy, which the whole spine of the team are guilty of, has made Barça vulnerable to being completely overwhelmed by more intense, more dynamic sides such as Bayern Munich, as we saw in the Champions League.
Suárez will become the third veteran Barça have offloaded in this window, following the departures of Ivan Rakitić and Arturo Vidal, who have joined Sevilla and Inter respectively for next to no money.
Atlético Madrid's acquisition of Suarez will continue that trend, with Diego Simeone's team expected to sign him for free, despite a year remaining on his Barcelona contract, so desperate are the Catalans to simply get him off the wage bill.
Suárez was close to joining Juventus before Atlético expressed interest, but with insufficient non-EU slots remaining in their squad, the Uruguay international would have had to pass a language test to obtain Italian citizenship. That stumbling block has allowed Atléti to swoop in, and could mean they sell Álvaro Morata back to Juventus.
Juve have also been closely linked with moves for AS Roma striker Edin Džeko and Napoli frontman Arkadiusz Milik, probably because they realised they hadn't poached a rival's best forward for a while. But Morata now seems the more likely arrival in Turin, where he enjoyed a successful two year spell, scoring 27 goals between 2014-2016.