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Suarez ‘is a Barcelona player’

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By Andrew Tuft

Wednesday 16 July 2014

Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta has said the club has completed the signing of Luis Suarez from Liverpool, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Luis Suarez

Zubizarreta was speaking at a Press conference held in conjunction with new Barca Coach Luis Enrique at which the subject of Suarez was raised. It was confirmed last week that Suarez was to join the Catalans, with a £75m fee mooted.

Suarez is believed to be in the city to finalise the transfer, although he can’t presented as a Barca player as that would contravene the terms of the suspension he was given by FIFA for biting Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup match between Uruguay and Italy.

The 27-year-old was banned for nine international matches and four months from all football - which FIFA have decreed includes appearing at a Press conference to mark his transfer, but not the transfer itself.

Both Suarez and Uruguay appealed the ban but their appeal was rejected, although an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport has yet to be heard. With legal issues in mind, Zubizarreta declined to say much about Suarez, but did reveal the transfer was essentially done.

“Luis Suarez is a Barcelona player for all purposes but the recommendation from our lawyers has been to remain discreet,” he said when asked if Barca would look to get Suarez’s ban reduced. “Our lawyers tell us that we should be very prudent with what we say and your question is asking about something that's could only happen after certain verdicts have been reached.

“Then we'll be able to explain things better,” Zubi continued. “But it's fact, it's true. He's 100 per cent a member of the club. We're speaking to our lawyers to find out the best way of defending his rights but at the moment there's nothing I can say about that.”

Suarez is not allowed to train with his new club until he has served his suspension, moving to Barca after three-and-a-half years, 133 appearances and 82 goals for the Reds. His tally includes 31 goals in 37 games last season as Liverpool finished second despite starting the season without Suarez, who had to serve the remainder of his ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic.

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