Suarez was ready to leave Barca for Nacional, claims Abreu

Sebastian Abreu believes he had a real chance of persuading Luis Suarez to return to Uruguayan club Nacional.

Luis Suarez and Sebastian Abreu.

Luis Suarez and Sebastian Abreu.   -  Getty Images

Luis Suarez was plotting to leave Barcelona for a return to his first club Nacional when it appeared Sebastian Abreu had a chance of becoming coach, the former Uruguay international claims.

Nacional was without a coach late last year when Alvaro Gutierrez quit, with Abreu – who spent three spells there as a player – adamant he was a leading candidate to get the job.

At that time he conversed with Suarez, who apparently suggested returning to Uruguay was a real possibility despite being among the highest-paid players in Spain and contracted to Barcelona until 2021.

READ | Barcelona slashes staggering wage bill to survive lockdown

Abreu was a team-mate of Suarez's in the national team between 2007 and 2012, with both a part of the selection that helped Uruguay to a fourth-placed finish at the 2010 World Cup, and the Barca striker had seemingly expressed a desire to link up with 'El Loco' once again.

"I had full, real chances [of being Nacional coach]," he told Uruguayan radio station Sport 890.

"And when in those days, after December 18, Luis was about to come, I said to him: 'Look, Lucho, it is not anything concrete, but there may be a possibility … What's your situation? What do we do?'

ALSO READ | La Liga urges clubs to furlough staff to guarantee financial recovery

"[Abreu claims Suarez replied:] 'If you get to be [coach], let me talk to Sofi, talk about the family. I always told you that if you were a coach I could come back.'"

He added: "Going back to Nacional was something that motivated Luis, it was a nice challenge."

Former goalkeeper Gustavo Munua, also once an international colleague of Abreu, got the job.

Abreu remains player-coach at Boston River, while Suarez looks set to at least see out the remainder of his contract at Camp Nou.

  Dugout videos