Lionel Messi is welcome to join Luis Suarez at Atletico Madrid if he still wants to play alongside the Uruguayan, Los Colchoneros president Enrique Cerezo has cheekily suggested.
Suarez was unceremoniously dumped by Barca last week, selling him to Atletico for just €6million after six years at Camp Nou.
In that time Suarez rose to third on the club’s all-time leading scorers list, but the way his exit was handled angered close friend Messi, who wants to leave Barca.
The initial decision in pre-season to get rid of Suarez reportedly contributed to the club’s captain and talisman asking to leave and, although he failed to force a transfer, he again showed his disdain for those in charge by publicly lambasting them for the Uruguayan’s exit.
Suarez made his Atletico debut in Sunday’s 6-1 demolition of Granada, coming off the bench to devastating effect as he scored twice and got an assist.
And Cerezo has audaciously suggested Messi joins Suarez at the Wanda Metropolitano, borrowing a marketing slogan from Spanish nougat company El Almendro.
My name is Suárez. Luis Suárez.
Licence to score, @LuisSuarez9
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) September 27, 2020
“In life, if you want something… If Leo Messi wants to play with Luis Suarez, I tell him the same thing that is said with nougat: ‘Let him come home for Christmas’. With desire, anything is possible,” he said on Cadena Cope.
Despite the turmoil at Barca over the past seven weeks, Cerezo showed support to his under-fire counterpart at Camp Nou, Josep Maria Bartomeu.
“Everything [with the Suarez signing] went perfectly well,” he said. “Bartomeu is a good friend and a great president.
“At the moment things are not going well at Barcelona, but he has acted as he had to act and nothing else has happened. The signing was not complicated, the player plays where he wanted to play.”
But Suarez’s international colleague Edinson Cavani will not be joining him at Atletico, having previously been mooted as a replacement for Diego Costa.
“Diego Costa is a player that Atletico Madrid needs,” Cerezo added. “The season is very long. You don’t have to complicate things.
“I don’t think there will be a change at Atleti. Cavani’s circumstances have not been the same as those of Luis Suarez.
“He is a fantastic player, but everything is different. It wasn’t because of me or his brother [Walter Guglielmone, also his agent] that he didn’t come.”