Liverpool announces they have reached an agreement with Barcelona for the transfer of Luis Suarez.
The 27-year-old Uruguay international will join the Catalan giants this summer upon completion of transfer formalities.
Liverpool have not revealed the financial implications of the deal, but it is believed he has signed a five-year contract for a fee of £75m.
“We would like to thank Luis for his contribution and the role he played in helping bring Champions League football back to Anfield,” the club statement read.
“Everyone at Liverpool Football Club wishes Luis and his family well for the future.”
Suarez was voted PFA Players’ and Football Writers Associations’ Player of the Year in April and May respectively, after finishing the 2013/14 season with 31 goals in 33 matches, helping Liverpool finish the campaign as runners-up behind Manchester City and as well return to the Champions League.
He would later proceed to the 2014 Fifa World Cup to help Uruguay reach the last 16 following group stage wins over England- a match he scored a brace on his return from tendonitis surgery- and Italy.
His misconduct in the final group win over Azzurris, having being found guilty of biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini, earned him the longest ever ban in football history.
Suarez will miss the first part of the season following a four-month ban from all “football-related activities”- including training with his new club until the end of October.
The Barclays player of last season is also banned from nine international fixtures.
“The club have done all they can over a sustained period of time to try to keep Luis at Liverpool,” Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers said in a statement. “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.
“If there is one thing the history of this great club teaches us, it is that Liverpool FC is bigger than any individual. I hope our supporters continue to dream and believe that we are moving forward and with continued improvement and progression, together we will bring the success we all crave and deserve.”
Suarez has since apologised for biting Chiellini, but Fifa has rejected Uruguayan FA’s appeal.
Barca had being in talks with the Anfield club since Suarez’s ill-fated ouster from the World Cup and revealed negotiations was in swift progression recently.
Their new controversial striker will wear the number nine shirt when he returns to the game in early November.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) July 11, 2014
His goal tally, which saw him share the European Golden Boot with Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, along with 12 assists, meant he contributed to 43 goals for Liverpool, more than any player in Europe’s top five leagues.
Suarez beat Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ronaldo in the list of ‘Europe’s Most Influential Players’ of the year, according to a study of the top five European Leagues by Bloomberg.
He notched 82 goals in 133 appearances in all after joining from Ajax for a then-club record of £22.8m in the winter transfer window of 2011.
“It is with a heavy heart that I leave Liverpool for a new life and new challenges in Spain,” said Suarez.
“I hope you can all understand why I have made this decision. This club did all they could to get me to stay, but playing and living in Spain, where my wife’s family live, is a lifelong dream and ambition. I believe now the timing is right.
“I am very proud I have played my part in helping to return Liverpool to the elite of the Premier League and in particular back into the Champions League.”