Barca keep counsel over Suarez deal

Barcelona are looking to add Luis Suarez to their ranks this summer

Barcelona are looking to add Luis Suarez to their ranks this summer

First published in National Sport News © by

Barcelona were giving little away about the prospective transfers of Luis Suarez and Alexis Sanchez as they unveiled new goalkeeper Claudio Bravo at the Nou Camp on Monday.

Barca have been in talks with Liverpool regarding Suarez, with media reports suggesting a fee in the region of £62million has been agreed for the Uruguay international, who is banned from all football related activity for four months after biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup, but is free to complete a medical in order to move clubs.

Chile winger Sanchez, meanwhile, is being heavily linked with a move away from Barca, with Liverpool and their Barclays Premier League rivals Arsenal both reportedly in the hunt for the 25-year-old.

However, sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta, speaking at the presentation of Sanchez's international colleague Bravo, remained tight-lipped about the developments surrounding both possible transfers.

He said: "We are working towards building the best squad possible before the transfer window shuts and it's positive that people (from the club) are travelling (in order to sign players) but it's important that we only communicate official deals.

"When we have reached one, we will announce it."

When asked about Sanchez, Zubizarreta added: "There is nothing new to report. We will announce deals when they are done. Right now, we have two Chileans in our squad."

The other of those two Chileans, Bravo, said that Sanchez encouraged him to move to the Catalan club, but would not reveal whether the striker said he would see his team-mate next season.

"He told me that Barca was a marvellous club and that I had to take this opportunity and enjoy it," said Bravo.

"But we didn't talk about being at Barcelona together, we were only focused on the World Cup."

The 31-year-old Bravo signed from Real Sociedad last month while still playing for Chile in the World Cup, in a four-year deal that the Catalan club confirmed was worth 12million euros (£9.5m).

Bravo's transfer followed the arrival of 22-year-old German keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen at the end of May from Borussia Monchengladbach, also for a fee believed to be in the region of 12million euros.

The club have brought in the duo to compensate for the departure of long-standing number one Victor Valdes and second-choice Jose Pinto, but the message at Bravo's presentation from both the player and Zubizarreta was that neither new keeper would be guaranteed a place in the team when the season starts.

"For me coming here is not a risk, it's a motivation," said Bravo, who was the undisputed number one keeper at Real Sociedad and has 83 caps for Chile.

"I have never felt I had an advantage over anyone at any club or with Chile, quite the opposite.

"I think it's going to be very competitive here but that's not just the case for the goalkeepers, every player in the squad has to compete."

Bravo called his new team-mate Ter Stegen "a young goalkeeper with enormous quality", and said he was not intimidated at the prospect of stepping into Valdes' shadow.

"I'm very proud to be able to play for Barcelona," he said.

"At Real Sociedad the name of (Luis Miguel) Arconada was very present and here so is the name of Valdes, but I feel very strong and I believe in my ability.

"It's a tremendous challenge but I hope to be able to rise to it."

And the Chilean insisted he would fit into Barcelona's style of play, which he acknowledged demands that the keeper has a high level of technical ability with his feet.

"I am fortunate that Chile play in a similar way to what I will experience here," he said.

"I will have to play as a goalkeeper and sometimes like a centre-back and play with my feet. I like that system and I feel comfortable in it. I always try to improve in every aspect and learn from my errors."

Former Barca and Spain number one Zubizarreta said of the goalkeeping situation: "Ter Stegen knew that Bravo was coming.

"Every player knows that when they come to Barcelona they have to compete with the best players in the world."

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