BARCELONA

Luis Suárez set to join Atlético on a free transfer

This evening's meeting between the player's lawyers and Bartomeu ended with an initial agreement. Atleti will not pay a transfer fee, only objective-related bonuses.

Luis Suárez is all set to become an Atlético Madrid player after his lawyers reached an initial agreement with Barcelona in this evening's meeting with club president, Josep María Bartomeu. Atleti will not have to pay a transfer fee as such for the player but will be obliged to pay Barcelona a specified fee if a set of objectives are reached. That fee, Diario AS understands, will be between two and three million euros. Atlético had intended to officially announce the signing at the same time as Morata's loan move to Juventus but that hasn't been possible.

Confirmation of Luis Suárez's signing is expected between tonight and tomorrow morning, once the player passes a medical revision - the final aspect of the operation to be completed.

Bartomeu attended this evening's meeting with Luis Suárez's legal team in person in a bid to resolve the player's departure. Suárez had an agreement in place with Atlético but the move was blocked by Bartomeu, who did not want to pay half of the wages of a player who would be playing for a direct rival in three competitions this season.

Barcelona sought a fee for Suárez

Diario AS understood that Barça had initially asked Atlético to pay a 10 million euro transfer fee for the Uruguayan. But the rojiblancos were not disposed to pay a single euro for him. The agreement with Suárez was on the condition that he joined on a free transfer; if Barça refused to give the go-ahead, Atleti had Edinson Cavani lined up as their second option.

Suárez had agreed to take a 50% pay cut in exchange for Barça, who had already told him that they would not be counting on him this season, freed him up to leave. But Bartomeu, who had 'vetoed' several clubs, backtracked when one his directors pointed out that he could not allow a player to leave on a free and continue to pay him half of his salary (seven million euros) while he might be scoring goals for Atlético - a direct rival. Barcelona sources originally viewed the issue as highly complicated but eventually, it has been resolved.