Wednesday Kickoff: Barcelona begin Suarez negotiation: Chelsea agree Costa deal; and more

Wednesday Kickoff: Barcelona begin Suarez negotiation: Chelsea agree Costa deal; and more

World Cup 2014

Wednesday Kickoff: Barcelona begin Suarez negotiation: Chelsea agree Costa deal; and more

Luis Suarez of Liverpool gives a thumbs up

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Luis Suarez’s days with Liverpool could be numbered.

According to multiple reports in the English press, Liverpool CEO Ian Ayre has agreed to meet with Barcelona director of football management Raul Sanllehi in London to begin discussions over a transfer for Suarez. The reports state that Liverpool will ask for a fee of upwards of £70-80 million ($120-137 million) and Alexis Sanchez is understood to be key to the Liverpool side of the negotiations.

At Ivan Rakitic’s introductory press conference on Tuesday, Barcelona’s sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta praised Suarez for his apology for the bite.

“Suárez has shown he is humble enough to admit an error, which is very important,” Zubizarreta said, via The Telegraph. “He has been humble enough to apologise to those he has affected, because it happened in the middle of a festival of football. In this case it’s the best thing a person can do.”

Suarez is coming off a tremendous season, leading the English Premier League with 31 goals and scoring two big goals for Uruguay at the World Cup before being suspended by FIFA for nine international matches and four months away from all soccer activity.

Here are some more stories to kick off your Wednesday:

CHELSEA FINALLY ANNOUNCE COSTA TRANSFER

After months of speculation, Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa is finally Chelsea bound.

Chelsea announced on Tuesday afternoon that they had agreed to pay the full buy-out clause, thought to be in the region of £32 million (approx. $55 million), for the Brazilian-born Spanish international. Now, Costa will travel to London to undergo a physical and sign his contract before being officially introduced.

Costa stepped into the big shoes of Radamel Falcao after the latter left Atletico Madrid in 2013, and Costa didn’t miss a beat. The 25-year-old scored 27 times in La Liga as his side won the league title and scored another nine times in all competitions. Costa, who earned a place in Spain’s World Cup squad, had a disappointing tournament, starting in both of Spain’s losses and being subbed off in both of them.

INTER RE-SIGN MAZZARI

Inter Milan have decided that they’re in it for the long haul with Walter Mazzari.

Despite a disappointing first season under Mazzari, Inter have announced a one-year contract extension to take Mazzari’s contract with the club to June 2016. Inter finished fifth in Serie A last season, earning them a place in the UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds.

“First of all I’d like to thank president Erick Thohir,” Mazzari said in a statement. “He’s shown once again that he believes in me and the project we began a year ago. I hope to be able to repay the faith shown in me with my work on the pitch. I’ll do everything in my power to get Inter back where the club belongs in Italy and Europe.”

QUICK KICKS

Levante have rejected a bid of €6 million plus Leo Baptistao from Atletico Madrid for goalkeeper Keylor Navas, who has a €10 million release clause. (REPORT)

Backup German defender Shkodran Mustafi is out for the rest of the World Cup after tearing his left thigh muscle. (REPORT)

The World Cup disciplinary committee won’t take action on France’s Blaise Matuidi for his late challenge that ended up injuring Nigeria midfielder Ogenyi Onazi. (REPORT)

FC Schalke midfielder Jefferson Farfan will miss at least four months after undergoing knee surgery. (REPORT)

Both Galatasaray and Fiorentina have made contract offers to Samuel Eto’o, who is now a free agent. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Suarez playing with Barcelona next season? How do you think Liverpool should replace him? Do you like the Costa signing?

Share your thoughts below.

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