A phrase of a bygone era, where a toothless animal is much less of a threat than one with fangs, but one that applies to numerous teams in the modern age. One side that has rarely been accused of being toothless, especially in the modern era, is Barcelona.
But after a season that saw the team fail to capture a major trophy, losing La Liga to Atletico Madrid and falling early in the Champions League, disappointment ran rampant at the club.
“The football team’s results weren’t the desired ones,” Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu said according to the club’s website. “It’s not sufficient to compete for the big titles and only win the Spanish Super Cup and the Copa Catalunya.”
So with a new season on the horizon, a change was likely to come for Barcelona.
That change looks to be on the verge of completion, and it will be one that brings some added bite to the Catalan club’s attack.
Uruguay and Liverpool striker Luis Suarez looks to be close to departing Merseyside, which has been his home for the past three seasons, and joining Barcelona for the upcoming season.
The move is said to be close to 70 million pounds, per The Guardian, which falls short of the 80 million Liverpool had hope to fetch for the 27-year-old striker.
Although Suarez is one of the top strikers in the world, tying the Premier League record with 31 goals last year despite missing the first five matches of the season, the move will not come without controversy.
Suarez missed the final World Cup match for Uruguay, a 2-0 defeat by Colombia, after being retroactively suspended for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini earlier in the tournament.
For the incident Suarez was suspended for four months and nine matches for the Uruguayan National Team.
Afterwards Suarez apologized to Chiellini for the bite, a move that Bartomeu praised.
“Luis has apologized and that is honorable,” Bartomeu said according to The Guardian. “He’s taken a step towards rehabilitating, the football world should support him and help him. As a football fan I hope he can turn a corner.”
The bite marks the third time Suarez was involved in such an action since 2010, previously biting an opponent during his time at Ajax and later biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic in 2013.
Suarez also racially abused Manchester United’s Patrice Evra in 2011, earning him another suspension.
If the move is completed, Suarez will join an attack that already features the likes of South American superstars Lionel Messi and Neymar.
Although another South American, Chile’s Alexis Sanchez, was a big goalscorer for the Catalans as well last season, it is rumored that he might be on his way out, with a number of English clubs lining up to secure his services.