Barcelona tried to lower Suarez price after Chiellini bite, claims ex-Liverpool CEO


Barcelona tried to lower the price of Luis Suarez after he bit Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup, according to former Liverpool CEO Ian Ayre.

Suarez was handed a four-month ban from football by FIFA after being found guilty of biting the Italy centre-back during their 1-0 defeat to Uruguay.

The striker completed a transfer to Barca for a reported fee of EUR82million in July that year but Ayre says the Catalans wanted Liverpool to lower their asking price as a result of the Chiellini incident.

"The hardest one out has to be Suarez, because a) nobody wanted him to leave and b) halfway through the process he bit somebody at the World Cup!" Ayre said during a lecture at Liverpool John Moores University.

"I remember the sporting director of Barcelona calling me during that game, immediately as Suarez bit the player, and he said to me 'my friend, he's bitten somebody, how can this be the price?' I said 'he'd already bitten somebody when you first bid!"

It was widely reported at the time that Liverpool wanted Alexis Sanchez to move to Anfield as part of the Suarez deal but Ayre says the Chile star had his heart set on a move to London.

"The thing to understand is that you are never actually in complete control of who you buy and sell as a club," he said.

"There was much-publicised interest in Alexis Sanchez, as part of the deal which saw Luis go to Barcelona, and that deal was done. The only reason it wasn't was that the player and his wife wanted to live in London.

"We couldn't move the football club to London, unfortunately!"

Ayre also revealed that Liverpool turned down the chance to sign Dele Alli when the Tottenham midfielder was a teenager at MK Dons.

The 54-year-old says Alli's demands put Liverpool off making him an offer, with the England international later joining Spurs in February 2015.

"There was interest in the player, but where it got to was that the demands at that time were not fitting to what he had achieved at that point," he added.

"We didn't feel the player matched that demand. It's easy to sit and say 'look what you could have bought', but how many players could you apply the reverse of that to? That's the truth."