Barcelona chief: We contacted Suarez BEFORE World Cup

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has revealed the club made their first approach for Luis Suarez before his controversial bite on Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup.

Suarez left Liverpool for around £75 million shortly after Uruguay’s exit from the tournament this summer following a three-and-a-half-year spell in the Premier League.

Bartomeu claimed Suarez had offers from other clubs, some of which included more lucrative financial packages, but opted to move to Camp Nou after discussions with the Blaugrana hierarchy.

“Barcelona made first contact with the player before the World Cup. I told him he was at the right age and experience to take the plunge,” he told CNN.

“We knew many years ago that Suarez loves our club, that he loves the city. As such, everything was perfect to accept Luis Suarez. We knew he had better offers, but Suarez decided to come to Barcelona.”

Suarez incurred a four-month ban from football for biting Chiellini but Bartomeu insists the incident did not make them doubt whether to push through with the deal.

“No, it did not make us reconsider and we told him that after the incident. He knows it was wrong, he accepted it was wrong and apologised, and that was very important for us,” he said.