Atlético posted the news on social media shortly after midnight, and the club’s website briefly crashed soon thereafter.
“Atlético de Madrid and FC Barcelona have reached an agreement for the transfer of Luis Suárez, conditional on the corresponding medical examination and the agreement and subsequent formalization of the Uruguayan forward’s new contract with our squad,” the club statement read.
Los Rojiblancos will not pay an up-front transfer fee for Suárez, but the club could owe Barcelona up to €6 million in variables, rumored to be centered on LaLiga success and Champions League progression.
Suárez will hold a farewell press conference on Thursday after six wildly-successful seasons at Camp Nou. He leaves Barça with 198 goals to his name — the third-highest mark in club history — and 13 titles. Though he has battled knee problems over the past three years and underwent surgery in January, Suárez still slotted 16 league goals for the second-place blaugrana in 2019/20, and he netted 21 goals with 12 assists in 36 overall appearances.
And now, after scoring eight times in 18 games against Atlético, El Pistolero will head to the capital to lead Diego Simeone’s forward line.
Suárez will sign a two-year contract said to be worth €15 million net — a sizable pay cut, necessary to complete this deal. The longtime Uruguay international’s astonishing arrival is a repeat of the 2013 David Villa coup, and it could bring an end to Atlético’s years-long problems finishing scoring chances. Simeone’s side registered 58, 55 and 51 goals over the past three league seasons — and finished at least 11 points off first place in each one. Suárez’s partnership with João Félix may reduce that gap, and it is tantalizing on paper. What’s more, the 33-year-old should bring his infamous, trademark antagonism with him to Madrid.
Though his transfer carries with it some risk due to his recent injury record, Suárez is the kind of player a transitioning Atleti have lacked in recent years — in more ways than one.