Suarez out of sight on day he becomes ‘100%’ a Barca player

Luis Suarez was conspicuous by his absence on the day he officially became "100%" a Barcelona player.

Suarez out of sight on day he becomes ‘100%’ a Barca player

The Uruguayan striker arrived in the Catalan city on Tuesday to complete the formalities of his reported €94 million transfer from Liverpool.

But, due to the fact he is serving a four-month Fifa ban from all football-related activity after biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder at the World Cup, he could not be formally unveiled at the Nou Camp yesterday.

It therefore fell to new Barca coach Luis Enrique and director of football Andoni Zubizarreta to answer questions about the club’s latest big-money signing.

Suarez will be ineligible to play for Barca — or even to train with his team-mates — unless any appeal lodged with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is successful.

When asked if Barca were making moves to reduce the length of the ban, Zubizarreta said: “Luis Suarez is a Barcelona player for all purposes but the recommendation from our lawyers has been to remain discreet.

“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% a member of the club.”

Enrique said Suarez’s absence from the early part of the season would not be a “tragedy”.

“It’s bad that he’s not with us from the start, but it’s not a tragedy. Someone else will play,” Enrique said.

Elsewhere, Chelsea have reached an agreement with Atletico Madrid to sign Brazilian left-back Filipe Luis.

The 28-year-old, who is yet to agree personal terms at Stamford Bridge, is poised to become the Blues’ second signing from Atletico this week after striker Diego Costa completed a transfer to London on Tuesday.

A statement on Chelsea’s website read: “Chelsea Football Club can confirm an agreement has been reached with Atletico Madrid for the transfer of Filipe Luis.”

Filipe Luis — a Primera Division winner with Atletico, who also reached the Champions League final in May — has an opportunity to replace Ashley Cole at Chelsea’s first-choice left-back in the long-term.

One man leaving Stamford Bridge is Demba Ba after the Senegal striker announced on Besiktas’ website that he is on the verge of completing an £8m (€10.1m) move to the Turkish outfit.

“The interest shown by the fans and the new stadium project won me over,” Ba said.

“I’m very happy to be here, all that is left is a few formalities, I will undergo a medical and sign the contract.

“I am excited to be here and can’t wait to start playing.”

In other transfer news, Arsenal are expected to confirm the signing of France defender Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle today.

Following the arrival of Netherlands full-back Daryl Janmaat from Feyenoord, the Magpies are now happy to finalise the departure of Debuchy, in what is expected to be a £10m (€12.6m) deal.

The 28-year-old, who was part of the French World Cup squad which reached the quarter-finals in Brazil, will present ready-made Premier League cover for Bacary Sagna, who earlier this summer left Arsenal to join Manchester City on a free transfer.

Meanwhile, Striker Alvaro Negredo insists he is “very happy” at Manchester City and is not looking to leave the club while Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos is on the verge of joining Real Madrid after revealing yesterday that he expects the move to go through “tomorrow or the day after”.

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