Barcelona transfer decision offers Luis Suarez Liverpool shock return chance and former Manchester United prodigy gamble

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The fallout was always going to be spectacular.

After Barcelona’s stunning disintegration at the hands of Bayern Munich, the club have already relieved spotting director Eric Abidal and manager Quique Setien from their respective roles, replacing the latter with Ronald Koeman.

But in addition to personnel changes in the boardroom and the dugout, Barca’s starting line-up may have a drastically different look by the start of next season.

According to Brand, the crisis-battling Catalans are ready to sell several of their most-established players.

In fact, according to the report, if club president Josep Bartomeu gets his way, only Lionel Messi, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Nelson Semedo, Frenkie de Jong, Clement Lenglet, Ousmane Dembele, Ansu Fati and Antoine Griezmann are safe from the chop.

That leaves much of the first-team sweating over their futures. Could Liverpool possibly benefit from Barca’s widely expected firesale this summer?

Here, we look at three players Liverpool may think about pursuing.

Gerard Pique

Elite-level footballers are rarely as candid and revealing as Pique was during his post-match remarks following the Bayern game.

The 33-year-old defender described the 8-2 defeat as ‘shameful’ and that Barca had hit ‘rock bottom’, adding that he would be willing to leave if it was necessary for the club’s progression.

It does seem like the end of the road for Pique, who has won 29 trophies in his 12 years at the club including eight La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues.

Should he leave, the former Manchester United centre-back would presumably not be short of potential suitors. According to Portuguese outlet Free, newly-promoted Fulham have launched an audacious attempt to try and lure him to Craven Cottage.

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Given his stature in the game, however, it seems more likely that he would pop up at a top-six club.

Liverpool, who are yet to secure a replacement for Dejan Lovren following his move to Zenit Saint Petersburg, would be an interesting option for Pique.

He is unlikely to start every game with Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez all firmly established under Jurgen Klopp, but he would offer a considerable deal of experience and expertise, especially with regards to performing in a title-winning defence.

Luis Suarez

Admittedly more sentimental than practical, Suarez’s recent travails should not overshadow his achievements since joining Barcelona from Liverpool in 2014 with the Uruguayan having scored 198 goals in 283 appearances.

However, the two-time European Golden Shoe winner will turn 34 in January, and while reports have claimed that he has no intention of leaving the Camp Nou, his club may have other ideas as they look to pump new blood into the first-team.

Should Barca place Suarez on the market, Liverpool would likely face competition from Ajax, another one of the striker’s former employers.

A return to Liverpool seems unlikely at best, but with few players as well versed in the art of goalscoring, even a post-peak Suarez would inarguably boost the Reds’ front line and relieve Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane of some of their goalscoring burden.

Ivan Rakitic

While Suarez’s return in front of the Kop may never happen, there is certainly something to be said for exploring Rakitic as a possible midfield reinforcement.

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The Croatian, who turned 32 in March, is widely expected to end his six-year spell at Barca after finding it difficult to keep his midfield place following the arrival of De Jong.

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The Reds have in recent weeks been linked with a move for Bayern midfielder Thiago Alcantara but, according to The Guardian, have no intention of meeting the German champions’ £27.2million asking price.

Should the Thiago line go cold, Rakitic would certainly be an alternative – albeit a less glamorous one given his age and lack of recent form.

However, with the former Schalke schemer possibly available on a cut-price deal with his Barca contract set to expire in 2021, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that he would look to rejuvenate his career with the Premier League champions.

Most effective in a midfield three, wages would, of course, be another potential stumbling block with Rakitic believed to be earning well north of £200,000-a-week at Barca.



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