Luis Suarez is reportedly ready to fight for his future at Barcelona despite Ronald Koeman appearing to make him surplus to requirements having been appointed as Quique Setien’s successor.
The 33-year-old former Liverpool striker is one of the elder members of the Barcelona dressing room and in the wake of the club’s embarrassing 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, a changing of the guard is expected this summer.
President Josep Maria Bartomeu revealed eight players who would categorically not depart this summer but Suarez was not on that list, leading to suggestions his club future lies away from the Nou Camp.
But Suarez’s entourage, as reported by Uruguayan publication Ovacion, have said that the player will not leave this summer as he wants to stay for at least one more year.
Suarez scored 21 goals and added 12 assists in 2019-20 in what became Barcelona’s first trophyless season since 2007-08.
A persisting knee injury at the age of 33 represents a concern but the lack of orthodox No 9 strikers in the squad could see him work his way into Koeman’s plans.
Suarez has 12 months remaining on his current deal and with the likelihood that he is not handed fresh terms, Barcelona would likely prefer to cash in on him this summer, rather than lose him for free.
The embarrassment at the hands of Bayern last Friday came after Real Madrid regained the LaLiga title with ease, and Koeman is not going to take any half measures as he aims to get Barca back to the top of Spanish football.
He is reportedly keen to regenerate what has become a flawed dressing room at the club.
As well as Suarez, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Samuel Umtiti, Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitic could find their heads on the chopping block.
Many of those players have zero interest in being forced out of the club given they are on lucrative contracts.
The latest report in Uruguay categorically states that Suarez is ready to work his way into the side under Koeman and will not be pushed out despite the desire to reduce the squad’s age.
He will again compete with Lionel Messi, Ansu Fati and Antoine Griezmann in attacking areas with January signing Martin Braithwaite expected to be moved on.