The departure of Liverpool‘s Luis Suarez looks likelier by the minute as Barcelona open talks with the club.

Amid speculation surrounding controversial striker Luis Suarez, BBC have confirmed that Barcelona will begin negotiations with the Merseyside club over a deal for Luis Suarez.

Officials from both clubs will meet in London to discuss a deal for the 27-year-old Uruguay international.

Suarez has four years remaining in his contract with the Premier League side, after he signed an extension midway last season making him Liverpool’s highest earner. Suarez helped the Reds finish second in the league, coming agonizingly close to winning it and missing out by two points. Liverpool made a return to the Champions League after five years and Suarez enjoyed a spectacular season individually where he was named PFA Player of the Year and picked up several other accolades.

But after being recently banned by FIFA for four months, it looks like Liverpool might be ready to part with their prized asset, albeit for a hefty fee.

BBC report that Liverpool are likely to accept an offer of £80m for Suarez, but Barcelona want to pay closer to £60m.

Reportedly, Liverpool are quite adamant about including Chile and Barcelona winger Alexis Sanchez in part-exchange for Suarez. It is not clear whether Sanchez himself would want to be part of such a swap, but Barcelona are understood to be okay with selling the player as they know that the inclusion of Suarez in the squad would mean that Sanchez could be on the bench for a long time and might eventually push for a transfer himself.

Liverpool are aware that Suarez would welcome a move to Spain and particularly to Barcelona after it has been revealed by many, including ex Liverpool Director of Football Damiel Commolli. He revealed that Suarez told him once that he would like to move to Barcelona.
“Speaking to Luis before, and during, the World Cup, he’s always said he is very happy at Liverpool”, said Commolli

“But, during our time together at Anfield, he told me that his dream is to play in Spain at one point in his career, especially at Barcelona or Real Madrid. His wife’s family live in Spain, he’s in Barcelona every time he gets a couple of days off and has a house there.

“I’ve always thought in my mind, and I told Kenny Dalglish at the time, that, if either of the big Spanish two came in and tried to get him, Liverpool would have a hard time to try and keep him.”

Suarez apologised on Monday for biting Chiellini, and when Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta was asked to make a comment on the matter. He said, “Suarez has shown he is humble enough to admit an error, which is very important. Everyone knows Luis is an excellent player, everyone knows last season he played in various positions in attack, but everyone also knows he is a Liverpool player.”

Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic, also spoke in his first press conference for Barcelona- after completing his switch from Sevilla- also praised Suarez. He said, “The fact he has had the character and the strength to go in front of everyone and say sorry says a lot about him as a person. Not every person has that strength to admit they have done something stupid. Regardless of whether the club signs him or not, his quality is unquestionable.”

The probability of Suarez leaving Liverpool are higher than they were last summer, or at least at par. Barcelona are acting swiftly as they are in London to begin talks. But the Reds won’t sell the player for anything lesser than their valuation.