Former Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre has revealed that trying to sell Luis Suarez after he bit a player in 2014 became a more difficult job.
Suarez left the Reds after three-and-a-half years at Anfield, during which time he scored a hugely impressive 69 goals in 110 Premier League appearances for the club.
The controversial Uruguayan quit Liverpool for La Liga after the 2014 World Cup but not before he had taken a bite out of Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini during the tournament in Brazil.
According to Ayre, protracted negotiations with the Spanish giants became even more difficult after the infamous 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!” said Ayre at a University lecture on Wednesday.
“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!
“The thing to understand is that you are never actually in complete control of who you buy and sell as a club.”
Ayre also discussed Liverpool’s pursuit of Alexis Sanchez as Suarez’s replacement at Anfield before the Chile hotshot eventually joined Arsenal.
“There was much-publicised interest in Alexis Sanchez as part of the deal which saw Luis go to Barcelona, and that deal was done,” Ayre said. “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!”