ATLETICO MADRID will have a set of unlikely supporters when they take on Chelsea in the Champions League next week – their La Liga rivals Barcelona.
The Blues take on Spanish league leaders Atletico in the first leg of their last-16 tie on Tuesday, with the ‘away’ match moved from Madrid to Bucharest due to Coronavirus restrictions.
Atletico Madrid face having to pay another £3.4m to Barcelona for Luis SuarezCredit: Getty Images – Getty
And Barcelona will be willing Atletico on against their old Champions League foes Chelsea – hoping to scoop a £3.4million payday.
The deal taking Luis Suarez to Atletico includes a clause which means the Catalan club will receive an additional fee if the Rojiblancos get through to the Champions League quarter finals for the next two seasons.
Defeat Chelsea and Diego Simeone’s men will be halfway to paying that clause.
According to Spanish daily Sport, Atletico have already paid £6m for hitman Suarez – with just over £4m for the initial fee and around £1.7m after the Uruguayan played 20 games in their colours.
The next windfall due is the Champions League clause. Barcelona are desperate for funds with their revenue taking a huge hit thanks to coronavirus.
Suarez netted an incredible 198 goals in Barcelona colours before leaving for AtleticoCredit: AFP or licensors
Suarez, 34, signed a two-year deal at the Wanda Metropolitano in September, with a break clause allowing him to leave for free this summer.
However, according to Spanish paper Marca, the former Liverpool striker has no intention of leaving his new side – with him being on course to win the La Liga title.
Atletico are three points clear of Real Madrid, but have a game in hand on their bitter local rivals, but let their grip on top spot slip slightly after a shock defeat at home to Levante on Saturday.
Suarez is more than doing his bit – he is the division’s top goalscorer with 16 strikes – one ahead of Lionel Messi.
Hitting 15 goals saw Suarez pick up a one million euro bonus (£880,000), while he is set for another big payday when he reaches the 20 mark.
Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea are next in his sights, with Barcelona watching the fortunes of their third-highest ever goalscorer with interest.