Barcelona technical secretary Ramon Planes has stated that the club will respect Luis Suarez's contract but that 'many things can happen' ahead of the October 5 transfer deadline.
Suarez has long been linked with a move to Juventus since new head coach Ronald Koeman made it clear that the Uruguayan is not in his plans for the upcoming season, but talks between the European giants are reported to have broken down.
Planes admits that Barca are in the market for a new striker regardless of whether they can move Suarez on or not, but hinted that he is hopeful of offloading the 33-year-old, who is in the final year of his contract, as the Catalan club enter a new cycle.
“Luis is an important player for Barcelona and has been for many years,” Planes told a press conference.
“We have to have a lot of respect for players who have given so much [to the club] but we are in a process of change. We have a new coach and new ideas.
“We must respect the players' contracts but until October 5 many things can happen.
“We have been working for months on improving the team and looking for players for the new stage of the team, that mix of experience and quality. Not everyone can play at such a big club.
“We are searching for a forward and that is not subject to the departure of Luis Suarez. We must have a lot of respect for those that are already here but Barcelona must always aspire to have the best.”
Planes added that the Blaugrana are also searching for defensive reinforcements and admitted that Manchester City centre-back Eric Garcia – a former La Masia graduate – is on the club's shortlist of targets.
“We are looking for a player to help us in defence and Eric knows and loves the club,” he said. “He is one of the ones that we are evaluating. We are looking for a mix of talent and quality for the future and Eric fits that profile.”
Another player heading for the exits at Camp Nou is Arturo Vidal, with a move to Inter having been mooted for some time, and Planes took time to thank the Chilean for his contribution over the years ahead of a likely departure.
“There is progress in the negotiation for Arturo's possible departure,” Planes went on. “I'd like to take the opportunity to thank him because he is an extraordinary boy with a big heart and who has been very important for us. I can't deny that there are negotiations but I can't confirm figures.”