Barcelona will keep red-hot striker Suarez
Luis Suarez has agreed a new contract with Barcelona that will keep him at Camp Nou until June 2021, the Spanish champion announced on Thursday.
The 29-year-old Uruguay striker’s new deal, which had been in the pipeline for some time, features a $210 million release clause.
Suarez, who has scored 97 goals in 116 appearances since moving from Liverpool in 2014, was scheduled to officially sign the new deal on Friday.
“They know I feel happy here and there was never going to be a problem extending my contract,” said Suarez.
“Finally, it’s official. It’s more than a gift for Barca, it’s a gift for me. Both the club and I wanted this to continue because we have a good relationship.
“Any player would want to end their career at a club where they feel comfortable. We’ ll have to see, but I will never lose either my ambition or my enthusiasm.”
Former Ajax striker Suarez helped Barca win a treble of La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League in his first season at Camp Nou and followed up with a domestic double last season.
He scored in the 3-1 win over Juventus in Berlin in the 2015 Champions League final.
Suarez’s remarkable goal tally of 59 goals in 53 matches last season, including 40 in La Liga, saw him win the Europe- an Golden Boot award as top scorer.
Two months ago, Barcelona signed a three-year extension with Neymar, whose contract was to expire in 2018.
Lionel Messi, the third member of Barca’s vaunted strike force, has a contract that ends in 2018 and negotiations are reportedly underway to try to keep the fivetime.world player of the year as a member of the trio that broke scoring records in each of the past two seasons.
Spanish media sources reported last week that Messi’s father and agent, Jorge Horacio Messi, had arrived in Barcelona to begin negotiations.
“Of course I like that news,” said coach Luis Enrique. “The day on which (a new deal) is announced will be a great day for everyone to celebrate.”
Neymar’s buyout clause is fixed at $208 million for the first year of his new deal, $230 million for the second and $265 million for the final year.
Another priority for the club in the coming months will be to renew the contract of midfielder Andres Iniesta, whose current deal also ends in 2018.
Barca has also recently tied down Sergi Busquets and Javier Mascherano to contract extentions.
La Liga’s other star attractions have been busily putting pen to paper in recent weeks.
Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo signed a bumper new five-year contract with Real Madrid last month which will keep the Portuguese star at the European champions until he is 36.
Ronaldo’s teammates Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos also agreed to lucrative renewals.
Luis Suarez poses during a promotional event in Barcelona, Spain, on Thursday. Barcelona says it has reached a deal to extend the Uruguay striker’s contract to June 2021, with a buyout clause of $210 million.