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Liverpool give up hope on Sanchez

ESPN staff
July 8, 2014
Would Sanchez fit in at Liverpool?

Liverpool have conceded defeat in their hopes to sign Alexis Sanchez as Arsenal, Juventus and AC Milan prepare to battle it out for the Chile striker.

However, the Anfield club are confident the Barcelona player's reluctance to join them will not affect the impending sale of Luis Suarez as they try to thrash out a straight cash deal.

Barcelona allowed Liverpool to open talks with Sanchez and his representatives in a bid to reduce the outright fee they would have to pay for Suarez although, sources have told ESPN, the Chilean will not be joining them.

Suarez's move to the Nou Camp remains on track because Barcelona are prepared to pay his buyout clause, which is thought to be in the region of £75 million, with the key issue in negotiations now how many instalments it will be paid in.

ESPN sources claim Liverpool have already agreed a payment structure, although Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta would not publicly comment on the progression of the deal when questioned on Monday.

"We are working towards building the best squad possible before the transfer window shuts and it's positive that people [from Barcelona] are travelling [to complete deals], but it's important that we only communicate official deals. When we have reached one, we will announce it," Zubizarreta said.

Suarez is currently serving a four-month worldwide ban for biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini, although FIFA confirmed his suspension does not extend to transfers.

Should he join Barcelona this summer, he will not be allowed to train with his team-mates, while former Barcelona anti-hero Hristo Stoichkov claims "the bites will be a problem" for Suarez as opponents on the pitch and in the media will try and provoke him into offending again.

Liverpool will have to find an alternative to Sanchez as a replacement for Suarez. They have signed striker Rickie Lambert and attacking midfielder Adam Lallana from Southampton already this summer and will continue to spend the money they are expected to receive for Suarez this week as they close in on deals for Lazar Markovic and Divock Origi.

Sanchez, having rejected a switch to Liverpool, is said to be returning to Barcelona from Chile to sort out his future. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is keen on signing the 25-year-old and is reportedly ready to see the deal through in person.

However, while it has been claimed the player would favour a move to London, Sanchez's representatives also reportedly met with AC Milan officials on Monday while Juventus are also in for the forward.

Barcelona are prepared to sell Sanchez for around £32 million which would help them recoup a significant proportion of the cost of Suarez.

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