Following intense media speculation over the past two years surrounding Luis Suarez and his future, Barcelona have moved one step closer to getting his signature after agreeing a £75 million transfer fee with Suarez's current club Liverpool.
The figure has been reported to have been agreed several weeks ago, although both Liverpool and Barcelona were eager to include Alexis Sanchez in an exchange to sweeten the deal for both sides - Sanchez would have been a direct world class replacement for Suarez and would have driven down the price Barcelona would have had to pay.
However, as Sanchez preferred a move to Arsenal over Liverpool, the Merseyside club were forced to accept nothing less than Suarez's maximum transfer evaluation.
Luis Suarez today issued the following statement to the club's official website, Liverpoolfc.com.
"It is with a heavy heart that I leave Liverpool for a new life and new challenges in Spain. Both me and my family have fallen in love with this club and with the city.
"But most of all I have fallen in love with the incredible fans. You have always supported me and we, as a family, will never forget it, we will always be Liverpool supporters.
"I hope you can all understand why I have made this decision. This club did all they could to get me to stay, but playing and living in Spain, where my wife's family live, is a lifelong dream and ambition. I believe now the timing is right.
"I wish Brendan Rodgers and the team well for the future. The club is in great hands and I'm sure will be successful again next season.
"I am very proud I have played my part in helping to return Liverpool to the elite of the Premier League and in particular back into the Champions League.
"Thank you again for some great moments and memories. You'll Never Walk Alone."
Brendan Rodgers himself had this to say: "Luis is a very special talent and I thank him for the role he has played in the team in the past two years, during my time at Liverpool."
Since Sanchez rejected Liverpool's bid, they have been linked with several strikers including: Monaco's Radamel Falcao; Real Madrid's Karim Benzema; Swansea City's Wilfried Bony and Lille's Divok Origi.