Uruguay international Luis Suarez has officially completed his transfer to Barcelona from Liverpool.
Although the striker arrived in the Catalan city on Tuesday to finalise the deal, he had to be ‘unveiled’ by Barca under the terms of his current ban.
The 27-year-old is serving a four-month FIFA suspension from all football-related activity after biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder during a World Cup match.
As a result, Suarez could not be formally unveiled at the Nou Camp on Wednesday morning, but new Barca coach Luis Enrique and director of football Andoni Zubizarreta were available to answer questions.
Suarez will be ineligible to play for Barcelona or even to train with his team-mates until late October following his transfer for a reported £75m.
And Zubizarreta would not confirm rumours that the club are planning to appeal his ban with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
“Luis Suarez is a Barcelona player for all purposes but the recommendation from our lawyers has been to remain discreet,” Zubizarreta said.
“Our lawyers tell us that we should be very prudent with what we say and your question is asking about something that’s could only happen after certain verdicts have been reached.
“Then we’ll be able to explain things better. But it’s fact, it’s true. He’s 100 per cent a member of the club.
“We’re speaking to our lawyers to find out the best way of defending his rights but at the moment there’s nothing I can say about that.”
Enrique is happy with the work the board has already done to boost his options and understands the frustrations of the transfer market as he tries to secure other deals before the new season begins.
“We’ve been working hard and we’ve been in contact the whole time,” he said of his relationship with the board.
“It’s not just a question of going to the supermarket and taking players home, it’s a complicated process.
“I know I’ve got a good group of players including one of the best players in the world.
“My objective is to get the best out of all the players in my squad. All managers want to have the best players that they possibly can.
“When I joined Barca I knew what players we had and we’ve been strengthening and I’m really happy.
“My target is to put a team together that is as competitive as possible.”
Enrique, 44, is also working to persuade veteran midfielder Xavi to remain at the club amid reports he could be tempted to move to Major League Soccer or to the Middle East in pursuit of a new challenge.
“Yes I’ve spoken to Xavi and it’s a matter that hasn’t been decided yet,” Enrique said. “He has a contract with the club and we’re waiting to see what decision he comes to.
“He’s a player for whom I have a lot of respect.”
Source: Sky Sports');