KEY POINTS

  • Barca have identified Man City's Jesus as Suarez's replacement
  • Jesus still has three years left in his current Man City deal
  • Barca may be without Messi and Suarez next season

FC Barcelona reportedly have identified Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus as a long-term replacement for Luis Suarez.

Following Barcelona’s 8-2 quarters loss to Bayern Munich at the 2019-20 Champions League, a storm struck the Spanish club. As a result, then-boss Quique Setien and sporting director Eric Abidal were released of their duties with the club. Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman left the national soccer team and signed a two-year deal with Barcelona as the club's new head coach.

As a part of revamping the side, ahead of the 2020-21 season, Koeman informed Suarez that he is not a part of Barcelona’s future plans. It is believed that the conversation took place over a mere phone call. That led to Suarez being linked with a return to his former club Ajax. Previously it was reported that Barcelona would use Suarez in a swap deal to sign Lautaro Martinez, who has been valued at $106 million by Inter Milan.

Portuguese media outlet Globo Esporte has claimed that Barcelona have contacted Man City to ask about Jesus’ transfer situation at the underway summer transfer market. The 23-year-old Brazilian striker, who is almost 10 years junior to Suarez, has been associated with Man City since 2016-17 and is contracted with Pep Guardiola's side until 2023. In the last four seasons, Jesus has scored 68 goals in as many as 152 competitive matches for the English club. He played a vital part in Man City’s back-to-back Premier League wins (2017-18 and 2018-19).

Jesus kickstarted his professional soccer career at Brazil-based club Palmeiras, where he played for two years scoring 28 goals in 83 matches.

Luis Suárez Luis Suárez's goals have helped fire Barcelona to within touching distance of the Primera Division title. Photo: Getty Images

Lionel Messi and Suarez have been Barcelona’s best strikers over the last few years and ahead of the 2020-21 campaign, the Catalans are set to lose both the players together. Barca skipper Messi has informed the Catalans that he wants to leave the club this summer. According to Spanish publication TyC Sports, Suarez’s lawyer Alejandro Balbi has claimed that Messi’s future will surely affect Suarez’s career as well.

"Messi’s future will have an influence on Suarez’s because they are best friends, they get along on and off the pitch. There is a lot of brotherly love between Messi and Suarez, they are inseparable, always together. The offers are raining down from all sides because he is a great goalscorer in world football," Balbi said in a recent interview.