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Football: Suarez to leave Liverpool for Barcelona

Liverpool on Friday confirmed that the club has agreed to sell Luis Suarez to FC Barcelona.

LIVERPOOL: Liverpool on Friday confirmed that the club have agreed to sell Luis Suarez to FC Barcelona, despite controversy over him biting an opponent during the World Cup tournament.

In a statement on the club's website, Liverpool said Suarez has received permission to complete the formalities which will then conclude his transfer.

Separately, Barcelona said Suarez "will be travelling to Barcelona next week for medical (screening), to sign his five-year contract and to be officially presented to the media and fans as an FC Barcelona player."

No details of the fee nor how it is to be paid were disclosed.

The 27-year-old said a sad farewell to fans of the English club, whom he helped fire to second place in the Premier League last season, sending them into the Champions League.

"It is with a heavy heart that I leave Liverpool for a new life and new challenges in Spain," he said in a statement published by Liverpool.

"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."

Barca's new coach Luis Enrique is overhauling the squad after a disappointing season in which they narrowly failed to defend their Spanish league title.

Barcelona were seduced by the goalscoring record of Suarez, who was the top scorer in England's Premier League last season with 31 goals.

"Luis Suarez is one of the most productive strikers in European football," the club said.

"The fifteenth Uruguayan to play for FC Barcelona is not just a prolific scorer, he also has a strong competitive spirit and a powerful figure, and he's coming to Barca in search of even more."

FIFA on Thursday rejected appeals over the striker's four-month ban from football, after he was found guilty of biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini during a World Cup Group D game.

If FIFA's ban is upheld, Suarez will not play football again until late October, well after the Spanish league restarts.

Barcelona on Thursday completed the sale of Chile's World Cup star Alexis Sanchez to Arsenal.

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