Wednesday Kickoff: Barcelona begin Suarez negotiation: Chelsea agree Costa deal; and more

Luis Suarez of Liverpool gives a thumbs up

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Luis Suarez’s days with Liverpool could be numbered.

According to multiple reports in the English press, Liverpool CEO Ian Ayre has agreed to meet with Barcelona director of football management Raul Sanllehi in London to begin discussions over a transfer for Suarez. The reports state that Liverpool will ask for a fee of upwards of £70-80 million ($120-137 million) and Alexis Sanchez is understood to be key to the Liverpool side of the negotiations.

At Ivan Rakitic’s introductory press conference on Tuesday, Barcelona’s sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta praised Suarez for his apology for the bite.

“Suárez has shown he is humble enough to admit an error, which is very important,” Zubizarreta said, via The Telegraph. “He has been humble enough to apologise to those he has affected, because it happened in the middle of a festival of football. In this case it’s the best thing a person can do.”

Suarez is coming off a tremendous season, leading the English Premier League with 31 goals and scoring two big goals for Uruguay at the World Cup before being suspended by FIFA for nine international matches and four months away from all soccer activity.

Here are some more stories to kick off your Wednesday:

CHELSEA FINALLY ANNOUNCE COSTA TRANSFER

After months of speculation, Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa is finally Chelsea bound.

Chelsea announced on Tuesday afternoon that they had agreed to pay the full buy-out clause, thought to be in the region of £32 million (approx. $55 million), for the Brazilian-born Spanish international. Now, Costa will travel to London to undergo a physical and sign his contract before being officially introduced.

Costa stepped into the big shoes of Radamel Falcao after the latter left Atletico Madrid in 2013, and Costa didn’t miss a beat. The 25-year-old scored 27 times in La Liga as his side won the league title and scored another nine times in all competitions. Costa, who earned a place in Spain’s World Cup squad, had a disappointing tournament, starting in both of Spain’s losses and being subbed off in both of them.

INTER RE-SIGN MAZZARI

Inter Milan have decided that they’re in it for the long haul with Walter Mazzari.

Despite a disappointing first season under Mazzari, Inter have announced a one-year contract extension to take Mazzari’s contract with the club to June 2016. Inter finished fifth in Serie A last season, earning them a place in the UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds.

“First of all I’d like to thank president Erick Thohir,” Mazzari said in a statement. “He’s shown once again that he believes in me and the project we began a year ago. I hope to be able to repay the faith shown in me with my work on the pitch. I’ll do everything in my power to get Inter back where the club belongs in Italy and Europe.”

QUICK KICKS

Levante have rejected a bid of €6 million plus Leo Baptistao from Atletico Madrid for goalkeeper Keylor Navas, who has a €10 million release clause. (REPORT)

Backup German defender Shkodran Mustafi is out for the rest of the World Cup after tearing his left thigh muscle. (REPORT)

The World Cup disciplinary committee won’t take action on France’s Blaise Matuidi for his late challenge that ended up injuring Nigeria midfielder Ogenyi Onazi. (REPORT)

FC Schalke midfielder Jefferson Farfan will miss at least four months after undergoing knee surgery. (REPORT)

Both Galatasaray and Fiorentina have made contract offers to Samuel Eto’o, who is now a free agent. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Suarez playing with Barcelona next season? How do you think Liverpool should replace him? Do you like the Costa signing?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, FIFA World Cup, International Soccer, World Cup 2014. Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Wednesday Kickoff: Barcelona begin Suarez negotiation: Chelsea agree Costa deal; and more

  1. Wood Chip Zip says:

    cheat and apologize = the best thing a person can do. okay. what ev.

    • Benjamin C. says:

      Unless a player does something illegal and literally can’t play because they are in prison, talent will always trump any ethical dilemmas a team might have. The only strange psychological issues play a role in a team’s decision making is when the skills of the individual begin to deteriorate.

  2. Sly says:

    So chelsea gets stronger while Liverpool gets weaker. With Ian Are doing the negotiations liverpool are screwed. Suarez is in the second year of a 3 year deal. 90 Million Pounds or we will just keep him on the bench. singlehandedly he almost won us the league itll take years and luck to recover that production of goals and assists.

    Without him no champions league next season. that alone is worth 70 million pounds just for one year. Our negotiating position should ideally be. 90 million pounds or 40 and we get to use your squad like a buffet plus you paying half of their salaries like how City did with adebayor while he was with Tottenham.

  3. The Ugly Game says:

    So Barcelona are OK with tainting their wonderful reputation as long as the guy sort of apologizes? His apology was pathetic and he was obviously told to do it, not sincere, not heartfelt, barely made sense, and only done so he can abandon Liverpool after they stood by him like no team should have. The spin masters at work. This guy is has zero loyalty and deep psychological issues, this smacks of desperation on Barca’s part. At least Liverpool can get a great fee for unloading their problem.

    • Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

      Barely made sense? He said Chilleilli moved his shoulder into his teeth. Nothings about that made sense. And where is this apology everyone is talking about?

  4. Marco says:

    What happens on the field stays on the field. Besides, his ban will be reduced to half anyways, as it should

    • Troy in his apartment says:

      If I was playing rec league and I bit players on 3 separate occasions. I would be in the nut house or the slammer.

  5. Alex H says:

    Suarez is a great talent but he is not a unique talent like Messi or Ronaldo. Unless they think that Suarez’s issues allow him to be obtained at a “bargain” prize, it would seem a better thing to spend the money on some other talented striker that isn’t borderline criminal.

    • SilverRey says:

      Messi & Ronaldo are not scoring 50+ goals in the EPL. For Suarez to toss 31 on the board in his shortened season and carry Liverpool into a spot to win the League can definitely be considered a unique talent. When he leaves, Liverpool will definitely have a huge void to fill and I don’t think they will be reaching the same heights they did this year.

      It’s better to think of it as selling while the iron’s hot. He showed that he is a difference maker and can carry a team (both Uruguay who was not good without him and Liverpool). If they wait another year who knows what they would get.

  6. H-Town says:

    I am now waiting for one of these Kick Offs to talk about Matt Besler, DeAndre Yedlin, Julian Green (loan), and maybe Omar Gonzalez to be making moves in the transfer window.

    I was hoping Zusi would warrant interest, but he didn’t anything to really standout. He is a great player for SKC, but I think he won’t find a better deal anywhere else.

    So, going forward… USMNT pool should have who?

    GK: Brad Guzan, Tally Hall, Bill Hamid

    Defenders: Fabian Johnson, DeAndre Yedlin, Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez, John Brooks, Andrew Farrell, Kofi Sarkodie, Geoff Cameron (maybe), Timmy Chandler

    Midfielders: Julian Green, Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu, Danny Williams, Joe Gyau, Will Trapp, Mikkel Diskerud, Dillon Powers, Josh Gatt, Gedion Zelalem (passport), Brek Shea, Luis Gil

    Forwards: Aron Johannson, Terrence Boyd, Juan Agudelo, Jozy Altidore, Jack Mac, Darlington Nagbe (passport)

    • Jason says:

      Besler, Yedlin, and Gonzo all impressed me in the WC. Green just needs playing time, i trust Bayern Munich.

      • Alex H says:

        I think Besler and Gonzo will benefit big time. While it has been a cottage industry to dump on our CB’s (especially Gonzo) they were no worse than a lot of the high priced European and SA pairings. Bottom line is that being a CB is tough nowadays and our guys showed they could hack it. I suspect that there will be a few teams willing to splash some cash in order to acquire their services.

    • travis says:

      um lets hope that Tally Hall, Dillon Powers, Jack Mcinerney and Will Trapp dont become part of the pool. Fine MLS playesr but we are trying to grow and beat teams like Belgium…not happening with players like that.
      Just look at their first names…looks like the roster for a private school in river oaks or tanglewood.

      • Jim in Atlanta says:

        Thank you!

      • Clevelandfc says:

        Still need some time. Going to miss howard but Brad is great. Jones too. Good news is how well espn radio, mike & mike plus Heard, have spoken about soccer and the world cup. I still think we are looking at 15 to 20 years (next generation) before better athletes get involved. Getting tge world cup from Quatar would really speed that up. Imagine 8 years of pro soccer talk.

      • H-Town says:

        The fact that you don’t know how good those guys are, speaks to your ignorance of MLS.

        • travis says:

          the fact that you think these guys are good enough to push us further in international competitions speaks to your ignorance of international soccer

      • Benjamin C. says:

        This is a terrible opinion about some quality young players with a sprinkle of bigotry there at the end. Very well played.

    • BlatterSUX says:

      Actually Zusi did stand out – but for all the wrong reasons.

    • Troy in his apartment says:

      If you mean 2018 that is a good list to start with. Dempsey will be a integral part through Copa America, which will probably be his last major competition. I cant see him playing to the level he needs to make the 18 World Cup.

  7. usa fan says:

    Yedlin was an absolute monster. I suspect suitors are lining up as we speak. It also hurts that this will probably be Jones’ only world cup. He was colossal and makes me wonder what could’ve been if we would have had him healthy in 2010 world cup. I hope Danny Williams can work his way up and be the player that Jones was for us in this tournament.
    I think that Green just earned himself much more minutes for both Bayern (I hope) and the USMNT. I’m glad he doesn’t need to worry about making a move because he’s already at one of the top clubs in the world. He just needs to keep training and playing on both international and club level. His 15 minutes were very impressive and encouraging. He definitely redeemed those terrible outings prior to the cup because he played well at the biggest stage.
    I also have to agree with Ballack’s assessment of needing that linking player in the midfield. I hope that Zelalem was watching and thought to himself, “That can be me.” I hope he chooses us now that he has citizenship. We need a creative player to hold that ball for us.
    I love Bradley but I think we asked too much of him and that’s why he didn’t do as well as we hoped. Jozy going down definitely changed his game because he had to fill the role that Clint usually plays and that changed his game because he didn’t have a defined role. Losing Jozy was a detrimental blow to all of our tactics.
    Also losing Johnson so early hurt us as well. I can’t wait to see Johnson and Yedlin together from here on out. They will make defenses tremble.
    I think Johnson made a mistake by signing with B. Monchengladbach before the cup. I feel that after the cup he had he could have had some big teams looking to sign him up especially since they didn’t need to pay a transfer fee. But overall I’m excited for the future of our team!

  8. dan c says:

    I disagree on Yedlin and i know i’ll be flamed, but….. Yedlin did a really good job of surging forward and a really good job of tracking back. However, once he had the ball his decision making process looked really really slow last night. Also, he never once used his speed to cut in, he settled for crosses every time when Belgium was playing 4 CBs. He is young and he will improve and I’m routing for the kid but the game really slowed down when the ball went to his feet. This could also be an inditement on the lack of movement in the box, but if that is the case then he has to mix his play up.

    • Troy in his apartment says:

      Um he cut in and hit Jones for a shot at the top of the 18 which he should have hit square but didnt and scuffed it. He also did another time and drew a foul. Our most dangerous crosses were from him.

      I think you are completely wrong about the game slowing down. We looked more dangerous with him on the pitch than when he wasnt. There were two instances where he slowed the momentum and then burst towards the sideline for a cross…even when the defender knew it was coming. He wasnt perfect but he was one of our best players yesterday.

  9. Raymon says:

    Someone give Jermaine Jones the fantastic contract he deserves! I’m guessing MLS DP somewhere, given that he is nearly a household name in Murica now.

  10. dude1 says:

    I just lost a lot of respect for Barcelona.