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Barcelona expect Suarez ban reduction

ESPN staff
July 13, 2014 « Robben rules out joining van Gaal at United | WILL TEST Rashid's burst takes Yorkshire top »
Luis Suarez's Barcelona move a lifelong dream

Barcelona will help Luis Suarez "successfully integrate back into football" following his four-month ban from all football activity, club president Josep Maria Bartomeu has said.

Barcelona will also assist Suarez's appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) alongside the Uruguayan Football Federation.

On Friday, Liverpool agreed to sell Suarez to Barcelona for a reported fee of £75 million with the move expected to be completed this week.

Bartomeu told Barcelona's official website: "We are supporting the appeal being made by the Uruguayan Federation to the CAS and are convinced that FIFA's initial sanction will be reduced. He recognised his mistake and Barca will be making sure he successfully reintegrates into the football world."

He added: "Suarez will bring his top qualities as a footballer, with goals and the desire to compete and win. We'll all help him and his family to adapt quickly to Barcelona and the team".

Barcelona have also signed goalkeepers Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Claudio Bravo and Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic as new manager Luis Enrique overhauls his squad ahead of the new season.

And Bartomeu is excited at the prospect of Barcelona's new look. "I'm excited about it, because this is the in-depth restructuring that we'd talked about. Zubizarreta and Luis Enrique are working hard to make a team that can challenge for everything. The team is in good hands."

More new faces could yet arrive at Barcelona, with Bartomeu highlighting defenders as a priority following the retirement of Carles Puyol.

He said: "We are focusing our efforts on finding what the coaches need, which as you know still means we have to sign some new players, probably in defence."

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