Former Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta has admitted Luis Suarez was not the club’s first-choice striking target in the summer of 2014.
The Catalans wanted to sign Man City forward Sergio Aguero instead, only to miss out on the Argentine.
“We had several options,” Zubizarreta has told Marca. “Suarez wasn’t the first choice – he knows as much. In the winter we tried to sign Aguero, but it didn’t work out.
“The Chiellini incident [Suarez’s bite on the Italy defender] happened while the negotiations were ongoing.
“That business put off many of the clubs who were interested in him; there were question marks over his character and how serious his punishment would be.
“I felt it was the right time to step up our efforts to sign him.
“I liked everything about him: he wasn’t static, he could run the channels and he gave us something that we were lacking. There was another key factor: from the beginning he was totally desperate to join Barca.”