Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has refused to confirm whether the club is in talks with Liverpool over a possible move for Luis Suarez – but praised the Uruguayan for his apology following his latest bite controversy with Giorgio Chiellini.
The Catalans have earmarked the Liverpool striker as their top priority for the summer but, according to reports, urged Suarez to publicly apologise in order to shed his 'bad boy' image and keep any talks of a potential move for his services alive.
Once Suarez took Barcelona's advice – with a fulsome apology – the Catalans reopened the chase.
Indeed, recent reports claim Barcelona and Liverpool officials are planning to meet in London on Wednesday to begin talks over a summer deal for the Uruguay international.
Rather than deny that talks would be taking place, Barcelona instead spoke of an overhaul at the club.
"It is true that we said we would do an overhaul but I can't reveal anything. Negotiator's handbook says not to give any clues. There are many speculations but I can't say anything," Bartomeu was quoted by AS.
"Luis Suarez is a Liverpool player but what he has done by apologising (after the bite) honours him."
Recently, club sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta praised the Liverpool star for his humility in accepting the blame.
"Suarez has had the character and humility to recognise the mistake and apologise to Chiellini and football. This honours him as a person and from here begins the path to recovery," Zubizarreta said.
"Everyone knows he is an excellent player but also that he is a Liverpool player."
According to the reports, Barcelona have already agreed personal terms with the 27-year-old striker and now only have to convince Liverpool to complete the deal.
It is understood that agreement between thew clubs is still far off with Liverpool demanding around £80m and Barcelona prepared to pay no more than £60m.
The Catalan club could include World Cup sensation Alexis Sanchez -- already identified by Brendan Rodgers as an ideal replacement for Suarez -- as part of the deal.