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Luis Suarez ‘is very close to signing for River Plate’ on a free transfer after leaving Atletico Madrid… as Argentine side’s boss Marcelo Gallardo insists Uruguayan striker ‘has the will and enthusiasm’ to sign for them
- Luis Suarez’s contract at Atletico Madrid expires on Friday and is set to leave
- The 35-year-old Uruguay international is still recovering from a knee injury
- Suarez has been linked with a clubs including Atalanta and Inter Miami
- But Mundo Deportivo now claim he is on the verge of moving to River Plate
Former Liverpool and Barcelona striker Luis Suarez is closing in on a move to River Plate, according to reports in Spain.
The 35-year-old’s contract at Atletico Madrid expires at the end of the month and is set to leave the club as a result.
And Mundo Deportivo claim Argentina will be the Uruguay international’s next destination, with the report claiming some sources have indicated the move could be announced as soon as Monday or Tuesday.
Luis Suarez is reportedly closing in on a move to River Plate once his Atletico Madrid deal expires
Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabregas and Suarez have been seen holidaying together in Ibiza
However, the report also adds that other sources claim River Plate are yet to receive an answer from Suarez – who joined Cesc Fabregas and Lionel Messi in Ibiza last week to celebrate the PSG star’s 35th birthday – as to whether he will join them.
And River Plate boss Marcelo Gallardo appeared relaxed over the situation, hailing the Uruguayan as an ‘elite player’ who is still showing the ‘will and enthusiasm’ to continue his career.
‘There are possibilities,’ Gallardo said after River Plate’s 2-1 victory against Lanus on Sunday about the possibility of signing Suarez and Colombian striker Miguel Borja.
‘I think one of the two will clearly happen. But before that we have to be focused on what we have today.
River Plate boss Marcelo Gallardo hailed the 35-year-old as an ‘elite player’ on Sunday
‘If they are signed, it will be to enrich the squad and have another expectation.
‘[Suarez] is an elite player, who is currently recovering from a knee injury. We made the attempt, he has the will, enthusiasm, it’s good.
‘If he hadn’t shown enthusiasm, we wouldn’t be here waiting. It will be a decision and when it is possible we will see if it is feasible. You don’t have to lie to people or generate a lot of enthusiasm.’
Suarez has been courted by a number of clubs after leaving Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid, with Atalanta linked earlier this month along with Inter Miami, but held talks with River Plate in Paris.
The Argentine side want a new striker as they prepare to say goodbye to Julian Alvarez (left)
The 37-time Argentina Primera Division champions are keen to bring in attacking reinforcements having lost Julian Alvarez to Manchester City.
That search has led them to Suarez, who completed his worst goal tally in a decade last season, but the Uruguay international scored 21 league goals the season before as Atletico finished champions, and boasts over 500 in his professional career.
However, reports claim River Plate’s ability to beat Velez Sarsfield and qualify for the quarter-finals of the Copa Libertadores will help them in their pursuit of the ex-Liverpool star.
Suarez has spent two years at Atletico but fell down the pecking order under Diego Simeone in recent months with the manager preferring Angel Correa, Antoine Griezmann, Joao Felix and Matheus Cunha in attack.