ASTON VILLA have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Luis Suarez with River Plate in talks to sign the striker.
Suarez is set to leave Atletico Madrid on a free transfer at the end of the month and he has no shortage of suitors.
He is keen to stay in Europe ahead of the Qatar World Cup but is believed to be open to moving to River Plate.
The Argentine giants are in desperate need of a new striker with wonderkid Julian Alvarez, who has scored 14 goals in 17 games this year, joining Manchester City.
And River Plate have already made contact with Suarez, with President Jorge Brito revealing on Radio La Red that talks were held in Paris.
Brito also shared that the club are willing to make Suarez an offer of around £4.2million a year to encourage him to sign.
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Manager Marcelo Gallardo is a big fan of the Uruguayan according to Brito, who would also love to see the former Barcelona star at Estadio Monumental.
But talks have reportedly been a little tricky so far because of Suarez's desire to remain in Europe – but the forward has not ruled out the switch.
That means there is still a chance for Aston Villa to agree a deal and they will hope Steven Gerrard's history of playing with Suarez at Liverpool encourages the 35-year-old to sign.
Suarez spoke of his future last month, revealing his desire to continue playing at the highest level.
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He said: "Trust me, I’ve not decided where I’m gonna play next season.
“I’ve received many proposals.
“Clubs from Argentina, Brazil and Mexico approached me but I want to play at top competitive level again.
“I’m focused on European football.”
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