Barcelona President Considering Pulling Plug on Luis Suárez's Atlético Switch

Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez's move to Atletico Madrid is in doubt | TF-Images/Getty Images

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is contemplating cancelling Luis Suárez's proposed move to Atlético Madrid, as he is not keen on the idea of the striker joining a direct rival for free.

Manager Ronald Koeman has made it clear that Suárez is free to leave this summer, and after talks to terminate his contract a year early failed to bring any results and a proposed move to Juventus collapsed, Atlético emerged as the likeliest suitors.

Luis Suarez
Suarez is not wanted by Barcelona | Pool/Getty Images

Atlético have already started planning for his arrival and are prepared to ship Álvaro Morata out to Juventus on loan, but according to Onda Cero, things have slowed down a bit as Bartomeu has now demanded a transfer fee.

Bartomeu still has nightmares of watching David Villa join Atlético for pennies in 2013, only to watch the iconic Spaniard net on his debut against Barcelona and lead Atléti to a league title.

Los Rojiblancos don't have the money to pay a fee and cover Suárez's wages - Barça had already agreed to subsidise his salary to make the move go through - and they are prepared to pull out of talks if Bartomeu can't be convinced.

Bartomeu doesn't want a repeat of the Villa saga | DANI POZO/Getty Images

Atléti are adamant that they will not wait long to figure out whether Suárez is coming. They still intend to offload Morata, and according to Mundo Deportivo, they will turn to former Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani if they can't land Suárez in the coming days.

The concern for Barça is that if they block Suárez's exit, they may end up being stuck paying his huge wages for one more year, even though Koeman doesn't want him in the squad. It's the Gareth Bale saga all over again!

FC Barcelona Introduce New Player Pedro Gonzalez Lopez - 'Pedri'
Bartomeu still needs to be convinced | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Bartomeu may yet be convinced. He recognises the need to rebuild the squad that fell 8-2 to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, and clearing out Suárez's salary would go a long way to helping that.

Barça are pushing to sign Lyon forward Memphis Depay as Suárez's replacement, with defenders Eric García and Sergiño Dest of Manchester City and Ajax respectively also on Koeman's radar.

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