Liverpool and Barcelona face hitch over £75m Suarez fee
Deal for Uruguayan hits an obstacle as Brendan Rodgers prepares to bring in two young forwards
Disagreement over the structure of the transfer fee is holding up bitey Uruguayan Luis Suarez's move from Liverpool to Barcelona, claims the Daily Mail this morning. Liverpool want all of the £75m fee up front but Barcelona would rather the payment was made in stages, with part of it based on performances.
However, the Spanish giants still hope to complete the transfer within days, and one sportswear store in Barcelona is so confident the deal with go through that it is already selling Suarez shirts with a number nine on the back. As any dentist can tell you, nine is the number given to the left 'maxillary central incisor' or front tooth in dental notation. It could also be something to do with Suarez's position on the field.
But as one attacker prepares to leave Merseyside, two are ready to come in. Sky Sports predicts that Brendan Rodgers' spending will break the £70m barrier in the next few days with signings of Benfica's Lazar Markovic and Lille's Divock Origi said to be imminent.
Serbian Markovic will complete his move to Anfield in the next 48 hours in a £25m deal, claim the broadcaster's sources. The 20-year-old is a product of Partizan Belgrade's youth system and has 12 international caps to his name.
Those same sources reckon talks over the purchase of Origi are also at an advanced stage. The 19-year-old hitman's star is rising fast: he featured in all five matches for Belgium at the World Cup, despite making his international debut only weeks before the tournament.
A target almost certainly not moving to Anfield is Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean ace has told Anfield officials that his family favours a move to London rather than Merseyside, reports the Liverpool Echo, putting Arsenal in the driving seat in the race for his signature, although they will still have to pay £30m for his services.
Arsene Wenger also looks poised to complete the signing of Newcastle United right-back Mathieu Debuchy within days as the Frenchman prepares for a medical at the Emirates. Gunners fans will welcome Wenger's decision to not leave his summer transfer activity until hours before the window closes but they will be concerned by claims in the Newcastle Chronicle that striker Joel Campbell may by offered as part of the deal to take Debuchy to north London.
The Costa Rican impressed at the World Cup and the Emirates faithful were relishing the chance to see him in first-team action in the coming campaign.
Meanwhile, one transfer that has been completed is Roma's acquisition of Ashley Cole. The 33-year-old was a free agent after being released from Stamford Bridge. Now Reuters says that Samuel Eto'o may be next through the door in Rome. The Cameroonian striker favours a return to Italy, where he won three trophies with Inter Milan between 2009 and 2011.