Barcelona have cut Denis Suarez from their squad to face Sevilla at the last minute, with Kevin-Prince Boateng replacing him, and he could be left in transfer limbo following a breakdown in talks with Arsenal. The 25-year-old has been used sparingly by Ernesto Valverde this season, reduced to just two substitute appearances in La Liga, and has now been axed from the 18-man squad to face Sevilla later today. Barca got clearance that new signing Boateng was eligible to play in the Copa del Rey quarter-final first leg and immediately added him to the squad, with Suarez the player to miss out.
It seems unlikely, however, that Suarez has been pulled in order to complete a move to Arsenal, with the clubs still at loggerheads over the structure of any deal. Arsenal had offered a £1.7m loan fee but refused to agree to the inclusion of a clause that would require them to buy Suarez permanently at the end of the season, instead only wanting the option to do so.
[BREAKING NEWS] Following confirmation of the transfer of Boateng, there are 18 players in the squad list to face Sevilla FC. Denis Suárez is the player who misses out #CopaBarça
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 23, 2019
Barca are wary of agreeing to those terms given that Suarez is out of contract in 18 months and would only agree if he signed an extension before moving to the Emirates to preserve his value. But Suarez declined and, with Arsenal not showing enough trust to agree to the obligatory buy-out clause, the deal appears to be on the rocks.
However, Suarez’s last-minute omission from the squad to face to Sevilla – having been practically ready to board the plan – may prompt a rethink. The playmaker is still believed to be keen to reunite with Unai Emery in north London, having enjoyed his breakout season under the Spanish coach at Sevilla several years ago, and is conscious that he needs to get his career back on track.