Luis Suarez completes Barca move
Barcelona have completed the 75 million pound signing of Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, with the club's director of football Andoni Zubizarreta saying he was "100 percent" a Barca player.
Uruguay international Suarez, who arrived in the Catalan city on Monday night to undergo a medical and tie up the formalities of the deal, has signed a five-year contract.
On their official Twitter feed, Barca reported that Zubizarreta, at a joint news conference with coach Luis Enrique, said: "Our lawyers have advised us to to be careful about what we say about Luis Suarez. He is now a Barca player in all respects."
But Barcelona will not be allowed to parade him publicly -- either to their fans or to the media at any news conference -- while he serves a four-month worldwide ban from all football activity for biting Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup.
World football's governing body FIFA imposed the ban, which also includes nine Uruguay matches, after the incident happened in the group stage match against Italy on June 24.
The Telegraph quoted Zubizarreta as responding to a question about whether Barca would try to reduce the length of the ban by saying: "Our lawyers tell us that we should be very prudent with what we say, and your question is asking about something that's could only happen after certain verdicts have been reached. Then we'll be able to explain things better.
"But it's fact, it's true. He's 100 percent a member of the club.
"We're speaking to our lawyers to find out the best way of defending his rights, but at the moment there's nothing I can say about that."
It means, among other things, that Suarez cannot train with his teammates or attend Barcelona matches, although it does not apply to transfer activity - meaning he has been able to complete his move.
The 27-year-old had an appeal against the punishment, which also included a fine of 100,000 Swiss francs (66,000 pounds), rejected by FIFA.
He does still have the option of appealing to the Court for Arbitration in Sport, but risks a longer suspension if he is unsuccessful.
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Barcelona have introduced previous high-profile signings such as Neymar and Cesc Fabregas to a packed Camp Nou, but as things stand will not be able to hold a similar event for Suarez until his suspension expires in late October.
Luis Enrique is not overly concerned about the absence of new signing Luis Suarez for the early part of the upcoming season.
"It's bad that he's not with us from the start, but it's not a tragedy," he said. "Somebody else will play in his place.
"That Luis Suarez will not have been able to train for four months does not alter our plans because we always knew it. The more top players you have the better."
Suarez was Liverpool's 31-goal top scorer last season as they finished second in the Premier League, and won all three of English football's most significant player of the year awards.
However, he has been blighted by controversy, with his latest ban being the third he has collected for a biting offence.
While playing for Ajax, he was given a seven-match suspension for biting PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal during a Dutch Eredivisie game in November 2010.
Suarez did not appear for Ajax again, completing a 22.5 million pound move to Liverpool in January 2011.
He then received an eight-match ban for racially abusing Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra during a Premier League match at Anfield in October 2011, and caused further controversy by refusing to shake the France international's hand before the return fixture the following February, for which he subsequently apologised.
Suarez looked to have played his final match for Liverpool when he was given a 10-game domestic suspension for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during a 2-2 Premier League draw at Anfield in April 2013.
The striker gave a series of interviews that summer declaring that he wanted to leave Anfield, but Liverpool's principal owner John W Henry responded by insisting that he would not be sold.
Despite reports of interest from Real Madrid, the only offers for Suarez last summer came from Arsenal, who had two bids rejected -- including one of 40,000,001 pounds, which they wrongly believed would trigger a release clause in his contract. Liverpool maintained there was no such clause.
Suarez ended up staying at Anfield, and signed a new contract running through to 2018.
That deal included a release clause that Barcelona agreed to meet, with a delegation flying to London to open talks with Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre at the start of July.