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Luis Suarez to Barcelona: Catalan club steps up bid to land Reds striker

By Carl Markham

Liverpool and Barcelona have held "productive talks" over the potential transfer of star striker Luis Suarez, currently serving a four-month ban for biting an opponent at the World Cup.

Reds chief executive Ian Ayre met officials from the Catalan club as the Primera Division side made their opening move in the bid to take the Uruguay international to the Nou Camp.

Another meeting is scheduled to take place to continue the negotiations.

"The talks were productive, with sensible expectations on both sides," said an Anfield source.

"Further talks and discussions will take place in due course. Nothing is finalised as of now."

Ulsterman Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool were adamant before negotiations began that they would not sell Suarez (27) for less than his confidential buy-out clause, believed to be between £70million and £80million.

The club are confident after the initial discussions that a deal can be done in line with their valuation.

Barcelona may offer Chile forward Alexis Sanchez as a makeweight and it is understood negotiations are taking place considering both options – a straight money deal and also the option of a player-plus-cash alternative.

The latter would seem more likely, but that depends on Sanchez, with the suggestion in Spain he is not that keen at this point on a move to England.

Suarez is currently banned for biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup in Brazil.

Meanwhile Liverpool have completed the signing of Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Emre Can after a deal to bring the Germany Under-21 star was agreed last month.

The Reds had to wait until the summer transfer window officially opened on July 1 in order to register the necessary paperwork and international clearance on the £10million move, which has now been done.

Can is Liverpool's third signing this summer alongside Southampton duo Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana.

Luis Suarez made contact with the Italy defender before going to ground. Giorgio Chiellini then accused him of biting his shoulder
Luis Suarez made contact with the Italy defender before going to ground. Giorgio Chiellini then accused him of biting his shoulder
Mario Balotelli of Italy greets Luis Suarez of Uruguay prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Uruguay at Estadio das Dunas on June 24, 2014 in Natal, Brazil. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Andrea Pirlo of Italy appears to strike Uruguay's Luis Suarez in the face during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Uruguay at Estadio das Dunas on June 24, 2014 in Natal, Brazil. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Uruguay's Luis Suarez is tripped up by Italy's Andrea Barzagli during the group D World Cup soccer match between Italy and Uruguay at the Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil, Tuesday, June 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
Andrea Barzagli of Italy challenges Luis Suarez of Uruguay during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Uruguay at Estadio das Dunas on June 24, 2014 in Natal, Brazil. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Andrea Barzagli of Italy challenges Luis Suarez of Uruguay during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Uruguay at Estadio das Dunas on June 24, 2014 in Natal, Brazil. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Italy's Andrea Barzagli, left, and Uruguay's Luis Suarez challenge for the ball during the group D World Cup soccer match between Italy and Uruguay at the Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil, Tuesday, June 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Italy's Leonardo Bonucci, left, tackles Uruguay's Luis Suarez during the group D World Cup soccer match between Italy and Uruguay at the Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil, Tuesday, June 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Giorgio Chiellini of Italy challenges Luis Suarez of Uruguay during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Uruguay at Estadio das Dunas on June 24, 2014 in Natal, Brazil. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Italy's Giorgio Chiellini complains after Uruguay's Luis Suarez ran into his shoulder with his teeth during the group D World Cup soccer match between Italy and Uruguay at the Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil, Tuesday, June 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
Luis Suarez of Uruguay and Giorgio Chiellini of Italy react after a clash during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Uruguay at Estadio das Dunas on June 24, 2014 in Natal, Brazil. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
Luis Suarez of Uruguay reacts during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Uruguay at Estadio das Dunas on June 24, 2014 in Natal, Brazil. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
NATAL, BRAZIL - JUNE 24: Giorgio Chiellini of Italy pulls down his shirt after a clash with Luis Suarez of Uruguay (not pictured) as Gaston Ramirez of Uruguay looks on during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Uruguay at Estadio das Dunas on June 24, 2014 in Natal, Brazil. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Luis Suarez of Uruguay bursts balloons during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Uruguay at Estadio das Dunas on June 24, 2014 in Natal, Brazil. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Luis Suarez of Uruguay bursts balloons during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Uruguay at Estadio das Dunas on June 24, 2014 in Natal, Brazil. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Luis Suarez of Uruguay reacts during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Uruguay at Estadio das Dunas on June 24, 2014 in Natal, Brazil. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Luis Suarez of Uruguay reacts after a 1-0 victory over Italy in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Uruguay at Estadio das Dunas on June 24, 2014 in Natal, Brazil. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Head coach Oscar Tabarez of Uruguay hugs Luis Suarez after a 1-0 victory over Italy during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Uruguay at Estadio das Dunas on June 24, 2014 in Natal, Brazil. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Luis Suarez of Uruguay is interviewed after the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Uruguay at Estadio das Dunas on June 24, 2014 in Natal, Brazil. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

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