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Official: Luis Suárez to Join FC Barcelona

Barça announced what everybody expected: Luis Suárez is a Blaugrana

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Michael Regan

It started three weeks ago. Multiple sources from England and Spain claimed that Luis Suárez was leaving Liverpool FC, and he had his mind set on La Liga.

Last week, Barcelona and Liverpool officials met in London to negotiate the agreement, and we reported that the deal was done.

Now, it is official. Luis Suárez is indeed joining FC Barcelona, the club announced on Friday. Liverpool also confirmed the news.

Suárez comes in for a reported fee of €81 million plus incentives -- bonuses for performance achievements, such as specific number of goals scored, matches played, titiles won, etc. FIFA has announced it won't cancel his four-month ban for the biting incident against Italy's Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup, so he won't be able to be presented to the media at Camp Nou, as the ban doesn't allow him to be at the team's facilities.

Luisito's former manager, Brendan Rodgers, has issued a statement, in which he doesn't seem that happy with Suárez's departure:

"Luis is a very special talent and I thank him for the role he has played in the team in the past two years, during my time at Liverpool. I think he would be the first to accept he has improved as a player over that period, along with the team and has benefited from being here, as we have benefited from him."

He continued "The club have done all they can over a sustained period of time to try to keep Luis at Liverpool. It is with great reluctance and following lengthy discussions we have eventually agreed to his wishes to move to Spain for new experiences and challenges. We wish him and his young family well; we will always consider them to be friends."

Suárez also wrote a statement thanking Liverpool and its fans:

"It is with a heavy heart that I leave Liverpool for a new life and new challenges in Spain. Both me and my family have fallen in love with this club and with the city. But most of all I have fallen in love with the incredible fans. You have always supported me and we, as a family, will never forget it, we will always be Liverpool supporters. I hope you can all understand why I have made this decision. 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."

Luisito will travel to Barcelona on Monday to go through medicals, sign his five-year contract and be presented to the media and fans. His debut for Barça is expected to happen in November.

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