• World Cup

Lineker: Suarez apologised to secure move to Barcelona

ESPN staff
July 1, 2014
Suarez initially denied he had bitten Chiellini, claiming he had stumbled into the defender © Getty Images

An attempt to engineer a move to Barcelona could be the real reason behind Luis Suarez's apology for biting Giorgio Chiellini, according to Gary Lineker.

The Uruguay striker was given a nine game international suspension and banned from all football-related activity for four months after he bit Italy's Chiellini during their World Cup Group D clash.

Despite the ban, Barcelona are still reportedly interested in the player and ready to offer him a salary of £160,000 a week. But it has been suggested the club would want him to apologise for the incident first.

After initially refusing to admit his action, issuing a statement to FIFA that claimed he had fallen into Chiellini rather than bitten him, Suarez finally apologised to the defender on Monday.

Lineker, who played for Barcelona from 1986-9 and is now the BBC's football host, tweeted that the apology could be linked to a move to the Nou Camp.

Suarez's statement offers an apology to Chiellini and the "entire football family", but interestingly makes no reference to his current club Liverpool. The Premier League runners-up have yet to formally comment on what they plan to do about their troublesome star, but they are understood to be taking legal advice on the length and scope of the ban.

The apology, however, went down well with Chiellini. In a personal message to Suarez on his Twitter page, he said: "It's all forgotten. I hope that FIFA will reduce your suspension."

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