Luis Suarez has repeatedly said that he was forced out of Barcelona by the board this summer. However, Ronald Koeman has jumped in and claimed that the striker did not want to sit on the bench, and that's why the move happened.
The Barcelona manager added that there was enough communication with the Uruguayan and that it was the striker's choice to leave the club. Talking to NOS, Koeman said:
"In the case of Suarez, it had become very difficult for him to start playing and I made that known to him. He found it difficult, but I never had any trouble with him at all. He trained normally, trained well."
"He finally made the choice to leave and I said: 'If you don't leave, for whatever reason, then you are just one of the group, then you can prove that I was wrong'. He could have stayed, yes."
Suarez phased out to breed in young blood at Barcelona, says Koeman
Koeman continued to talk about why he wanted Suarez to sit on the bench and said that he is trying to build a squad for the future. The Barcelona manager claimed that he wants to give youngsters a chance this season to rejuvenate the club's core. He said:
"I'm good with Luis, but the club felt that we had to rejuvenate. You can see that now in the team. Ansu Fati plays, he is 17 years old. We have Pedri, 17 years old, who gets his chances."
"Ronald Araujo is there at the age of 21. Trincao falls in a lot and is 20 years old, and we have taken Sergino Dest, who is 19. Those are all players for the future."
The statement comes after Suarez accused the board of pushing him away, as they did not want anyone to be on Lionel Messi's side. The striker told ESPN that the Argentine going on an all-out attack on the board saw them focus on isolating him.
Suarez completed a move to Atletico Madrid after his first choice move to Juventus broke down. The transfer was not possible as the striker did not manage to get his Italian passport, due to which the Bianconeri opted to sign Alvaro Morata instead.
Published 12 Oct 2020, 15:48 IST