Barcelona and Real Madrid are ready to enter a bidding war for Liverpool striker Luis Suarez by launching a £68 million bid, reports the Daily Star.
The 31-goal striker is preparing to take on England in the World Cup, but could become embroiled in this summer's biggest transfer saga should the La Liga giants decide to make a move.
Officials at the Nou Camp are keen to bring a marquee signing to Catalonia to ease the fears of fans, who believe their era of dominance could be coming to an end. Barcelona did not win a major piece of silverware last season, losing out on the La Liga title to Atletico Madrid.
Suarez, who won the PFA Player of the Year last season, is seen as a potential big money arrival and Barcelona will be willing to match £68 million, which the Daily Star reports as Suarez's release clause.
However, if Liverpool are forced to accept the bid, Barcelona can expect to compete with Real Madrid for the 27-year-old as Florentino Perez also wants to bring the traditional big name to the Bernabeu this summer.
Carlo Ancelotti saved Real Madrid's season - and, most likely, his job - by winning La Decima, beating Atletico in the final, helped by a last minute equaliser by Sergio Ramos.
Ancelotti will keep his job for another season and Perez wants to bring Suarez to the Bernabeu in order to move the team forward. They are likely to offer Suarez a bigger pay packet than Barcelona but both teams have the pulling power to drag the Uruguayan away from Anfield.
A major flaw in this transfer story is the fact that it mentions a £68 million release clause in Suarez's contract. Suarez signed a new £200,000-a-week deal earlier this year and later confirmed the contract did not have a release clause.
However, reports are still circulating that there is a special clause that forces Liverpool to accept the bids from one of the two big La Liga outfits. If he doesn't have a release clause, it is likely Liverpool would reject a £68 million offer, instead demanding a world-record fee for the striker.
It seems that both Barcelona and Real Madrid are also monitoring Manchester City star Sergio Aguero and will look to sign him should their bid for Suarez fails. Barcelona would certainly have the upperhand in the pursuit of the Argentinian, who has a strong connection to Real Madrid's rivals Atletico and with it, a disdain for Los Blancos.