Barcelona set to extend Suarez contract to 2021
ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 16, 2016 10:10 AM
FC Barcelona's Luis Suarez, gestures in celebration after scoring during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Osasuna, at El Sadar stadium, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Saturday, Dec.10, 2016. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)
TALES AZZONI, AP Sports Writer
MADRID (AP) — Barcelona has reached a deal to extend the contract of Uruguay striker Luis Suarez to June 2021, securing another piece of its powerful attack for four more seasons.
The club recently also extended Neymar's contract until 2021, and now it will try to seal a deal with Lionel Messi to keep together its formidable trio.
Barcelona said that Suarez's new contract — which has a buyout clause of 200 million euros (around $210 million) — will be signed on Friday. His previous deal was due to expire in 2019.
"I'm incredibly happy for being where I want to be," Suarez said. "It was a decision that I wanted and that the club wanted. We have a good relationship."
Since transferring from Liverpool in 2014, Suarez has scored 97 goals in 116 matches, helping the Spanish club win eight titles, including the 2015 Champions League. He also won two Spanish leagues, two Copas del Rey, a Spanish Super Cup, a European Super Cup and FIFA's Club World Cup.
Suarez was last season's leading scorer in the Spanish league with 40 goals, five more than Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 29-year-old Suarez has 13 goals in 20 games this season.
Key goals for Barcelona include one in the Champions League final against Juventus, and two in the 4-0 rout of Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium last season. Suarez's hat trick in the 3-0 win at Granada in the final round of the league last season secured Barcelona the title.
Suarez had a troubled start.
His debut with Barcelona was delayed because of a suspension for biting an opponent at the 2014 World Cup, keeping him from officially starting his career with the Spanish club until October 2014.
Two months ago, Barcelona signed a three-year extension with Neymar, whose contract was to expire in 2018. Messi's current deal also ends in 2018, and negotiations are reportedly under way to try to keep the five-time world player of the year as a member of the trio that broke scoring records in each of the last two seasons.
Neymar's buyout clause is fixed at 200 million euros for the first year of the new contract, 222 million for the second, and 250 million euros for the final three years.
Another priority for the club in the coming months will be to renew the contract of midfielder Andres Iniesta, whose current deal also ends in 2018.
Barcelona this year extended the contract of defender Javier Mascherano until 2019.
Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni