Denis Suarez has described his move back to Barcelona as a "dream", adding that he always wanted to return to the Nou Camp. The Spaniard confirmed that he had turned down offers from other sides to switch to the Catalan giants, amid reports suggesting Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Napoli were all after his services.
The 22-year-old midfielder enjoyed an impressive 2013-14 campaign with Barcelona's second team following his arrival from the Manchester City academy. The club sent him on loan to Sevilla the following season, before selling him to Villarreal last summer.
However, Barcelona kept a buy-back option worth just €3.25m (£2.8m, $3.6m), allowing them to re-sign the player should he break out as a star.
In early June, Barcelona sporting director Roberto Fernandez confirmed the club had plans to activate that clause this summer after Suarez developed into a sensation during his first year with Villarreal.
However, the move was put into doubt amid reports in both Sport and Mundo Deportivo that Arsenal, Spurs and Napoli were all trying to tempt the player away from a reunion with Barcelona – with the player having second thoughts as he wanted reassurances about his role under Luis Enrique before returning.
AS even claimed an unnamed Premier League club had launched a €20m offer to Barcelona for his services.
Suarez has now confirmed he had options outside La Liga, but refused to name the clubs interested.
"It is true that I had several offers from other teams, from foreign leagues. But from the off I informed Robert Fernandez and the club that my desire was to play for Barcelona. We just needed to get an agreement and at the end I am here, which is what I always wanted," Barcelona's first signing of the summer confirmed in his presentation at the Nou Camp.
Suarez says his dream was always to play for Barcelona's first team, as he wanted to emulate the likes of Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez.
"I'm very pleased to be back at the club," he confirmed. "It's a dream come true because when I left my target was always to come back here and that's what I've fought for. Because of my style of football, Barça is the best team in the world that I could play for.
"Iniesta is a role model for everyone in football and I'm so happy to be able to learn things from playing alongside him," he told the packed pressroom.
"I'll do all I can to be a success at Barça, this is what I have always dreamt of. I want to do everything I can here, but I am aware that this is where the best players in the world are playing. I'll fight as hard as I can for a regular place in the team."