Liverpool are set to lose their hitman Luis Suarez as the star striker is reportedly closing in on joining Barcelona this summer.
According to the Guardian, the Catalan side have held talks with the Reds in London over a potential transfer of the 27-year-old to Camp Nou. The Spanish giants are ready to pay the Merseyside club £70m cash for the signature of the Uruguayan international.
Barcelona's director of football Raul Sanllehi held talks with Liverpool's chief executive, Ian Ayre on Wednesday and the outcome has been "productive." Suarez has been handed a four-month ban from total football by Fifa for biting Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup.
Despite the lengthy ban, the La Liga outfit have made an initial bid of £70m in landing the controversial striker. The first approach from Barcelona is £10m short of the Anfield club's valuation.
A source close to Liverpool has told the Guardian that the talks between both clubs were positive and there would be further discussion even as the deal is being finalised.
"The talks were productive. There were sensible expectations on both sides and there will be further discussions to take place. But nothing is finalised as of now," the Guardian quoted a Liverpool source as saying.
Liverpool are believed to be interested in signing Alexis Sanchez as part of the deal and Barcelona are willing to include their Chilean forward to acquire Suarez's services. However, the forward in unwilling to join Brendan Rodgers' side this summer.
Sanchez is keen on making a switch to the Premier League and has set his sights on signing for Arsenal. His decision to snub Liverpool could make it difficult for Barcelona in landing their prime transfer target.
Suarez publicly issued an apology for his behaviour against Italy. Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu remained coy when asked about his side's interest in the former Ajax man, but admitted that talks were ongoing in signing their targets.
"I announced months ago that the team would undergo a deep renovation but we cannot reveal details because we don't want to give clues away to any of our rivals. Our representatives are constantly travelling to other countries because of potential signing," Bartomeu said.
"Suárez is a Liverpool player so I can't talk about him, he belongs to another team, a rival team. But we are all football men, and saying sorry is honourable, it helps the competition."