Liga - Barcelona admit tapping up Suarez

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu confirmed the club first approached the Uruguay international before the World Cup and didn’t back away after he bit Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini..

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Liga - Barcelona admit tapping up Suarez
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Luis Suarez's ban appeal will be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport

Barcelona made first contact before the World Cup and told him that he was the right age and experience to take the plunge,” Bartomeu said.

“We knew many years ago that Suarez loves our club and loves our city. Therefore everything was perfect and the right atmosphere to accept Suarez was created.

“We knew he had better offers but he decided to come to Barca.

“We didn’t rethink the decision after the bite and so we told Luis. He knows he made a mistake and apologised."

[SUAREZ'S APPEAL OVER BITE BAN DENIED]

Bartomeu also denied that the player has a 'no biting' clause in his contract, telling CNN: "No, there is no clause.

"If the clause did exist we wouldn't say it, but it doesn't exist."

"He apologised. That's very important for us.

[SUAREZ ADMITS BITE, APOLOGISES TO CHIELLINI]

"That means he knows that he did not do things properly - and of course, coming to our city, coming to our club, there's going to be a way of managing Luis Suarez, because at Liverpool he was a perfect player.

"Liverpool fans can tell it, supporters can tell it."

Bartomeu refused to talk in hypotheses over what course of action Barca would take if Suarez did bite a fourth opponent. The forward has already bitten Otman Bakkal, Branislav Ivanovic and Chiellini during matches.

"This is now a question," Bartomeu added. "This is a question that a lot of people now ask us.

"We cannot talk about something that could happen or not. We don't know. What we know is that we accept this responsibility and we also want this responsibility of bringing Luis Suarez to the family of football."

The Barca president feels Suarez is at the "perfect" stage in his career - following three free-scoring seasons at Anfield - to make a big impression in Catalonia.

"When we approached Suarez, it was before the World Cup," Bartomeu added.

"We told him that he had the right age. He had the experience. Playing at Liverpool gave him incredible performance also. And it was the right time for him to come to our club, to Barcelona.

"We knew from a lot of years ago that Luis Suarez likes our club, likes our city. And we have the advantage. His agent is Pep Guardiola's brother (Pere Guardiola).

"He's from Barca in his heart, also, so everything was perfect and created the perfect atmosphere that Luis Suarez accepted.

"And we know that he had better offers than our offer but he came to Barcelona."

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