Barcastriker Suarez joins Atletico Madrid

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Barca striker Suarez joins Atletico Madrid Barcelona, Sept. 24 (BNA): Atletico Madrid have agreed a deal with Barcelona to sign Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez for a fee worth up to 6 million euros (7 million dollars), the clubs said late Wednesday.

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman told the forward he was not needed this season as the Catalans looked to lighten their wage bill because of the coronavirus pandemic, Deutsche press agency (dpa) reported.

The 33-year-old forward will hold a farewell news conference on Thursday before joining Atletico, on an expected two-year deal, with the exact transfer fee dependent on variables.

"FC Barcelona would like to publicly express their gratitude to Luis Suarez for his commitment and dedication and wishes him all the best for the future," said Barcelona in a statement.

Suarez signed for Barcelona in 2014 from Liverpool and won four La Liga titles, four Copa del Reys and one Champions League among 13 trophies with the club in six years.

The striker scored 198 goals in 283 matches to become the club's third top goalscorer of all-time, and had one year left to run on his Barcelona deal.

Suarez, who missed several months last season after knee surgery, has yet to undergo his medical with Atletico Madrid.

The forward is one of a number of veteran players at Barcelona set to depart the club this summer.

Ivan Rakitic rejoined Sevilla while Arturo Vidal has flown to Italy to sign for Inter Milan.

Wolverhampton Wanderers signed Nelson Semedo on Wednesday, while Barcelona's talisman Lionel Messi tried to force his own exit this summer but later relented.

Suarez had been heavily linked with a move to Juventus but it collapsed because of passport issues.

Spanish reports said president Josep Maria Bartomeu then blocked a move to Atletico Madrid before relenting after a meeting with Suarez's representatives.

In 2013 Barcelona striker David Villa moved to Atletico Madrid at cut price and subsequently won the league with the Rojiblancos, drawing at Camp Nou on the final day of the 2013-14 season to lift the title.