Suarez says ‘many clubs’ were keen as Koeman forced him out of Barcelona & towards Atletico Madrid

Luis Suarez, Atletico Madrid
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The experienced Uruguayan striker was deemed surplus to requirements at Camp Nou, but a number of other teams wanted to do a deal

Luis Suarez says “many clubs” were in for him during the summer of 2020, with Atletico Madrid winning the race for his signature after Ronald Koeman forced the Uruguayan out of Barcelona.

A managerial change at Camp Nou saw some big decisions made, with those in Catalunya looking to move in a different direction.

The 34-year-old had scored 198 goals through 283 appearances for the Blaugrana, but his face no longer fit and he was deemed surplus to requirements

Koeman has claimed to have no regrets at making that bold call, despite Suarez now sitting at the top of the Liga goal standings in 2020-21 with 14 efforts to his name.

The South American has helped to fire Atletico into title contention, with eyebrows raised when Barca did a deal with a domestic rival.

Various other landing spots had been mooted, with Serie A champions Juventus in the mix, and Suarez admits to having mulled over different options as an exit door swung open.

He has told El Transistor: “When Barcelona told me that they did not count on me it was hard, I did not expect it.

“They were very difficult moments because of the manner [in which it happened]. Koeman called me and told me that I was not in his plans.

“When Barcelona made it official that they did not count on me, conversations began with Atleti, with Cholo [Simeone], with Miguel Angel...

“There was interest from many clubs, not just Juventus. I wanted to make the right decision, the best for me and my family.”

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While Suarez has helped Atletico to the top of La Liga, Barcelona are their closest challengers.

Lionel Messi and co have started to find form, moving into second spot, but the Rojiblancos retain a 10-point lead at the summit and have played a game less than their closest challengers.

Simeone’s side, who also have a Champions League last-16 encounter with Premier League heavyweights Chelsea to look forward to, will be back in action on Monday when they welcome Celta Vigo to Wanda Metropolitano.

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