Liverpool confirmed Friday they have agreed a deal with Dutch side Ajax to sign Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, just hours after they turned down an attempt by Chelsea to relieve them of Fernando Torres.
The English giants will pay a fee of up to €26.5 million (£22.8 million) subject to the player passing a medical and agreeing personal terms. Suarez's much-anticipated move to Merseyside had been held up after the two clubs had failed to reach agreement on a transfer fee.
However 24-year-old Suarez had spoken enthusiastically about the prospect of a move to England, telling the Sunday Times in an interview last week that he believed he could emulate the success of Carlos Tevez in the English Premier League.
"(England) is a league that attracts me, a country where the football is really good," said Suarez, who notoriously committed a goal-line handball which saved Uruguay from elimination in the FIFA World Cup™ against Ghana last year.
"Alongside the Spanish league it is the best in the world. In England you have a lot of clubs with aspirations to become champions and they are also very strong in the Champions League at the European level," he added. "I used to think that English football was not my style. But I saw Tevez play at Boca and Corinthians and I never imagined that he would play in the Premier League.
"When I see the way that Tevez plays there I think I can be a big name in England. It's because of the energy, and the spirit they put into the game in England. Now, I think it's a kind of football that suits me," the player went on.
The deal comes on the same day that Liverpool turned down a bid of £35million from Chelsea for Spanish international striker Torres. The 26-year-old Torres had already pleaded with Liverpool to prove his long-term future lies at Anfield by bringing in better players to bolster a team which has looked reborn under Kenny Dalglish.
Having scored just once in seven matches prior to the Scot's appointment as manager he has hit three in his last four games - and that would have been four in four had he not had a goal ruled out for offside in Wednesday's win over Fulham.
Suarez has been a prolific scorer in the Dutch championship, scoring 111 goals in 159 matches since joining Ajax from Groningen in 2007. But controversy is never far away with the Uruguayan having just completed a seven-match ban for biting PSV Eindhoven's Otman Bakkal on the shoulder in a league match in November.