Inter Miami CF is trying to sign ex-Barcelona striker Luis Suárez, but Suárez and his current club, Brazilian side Grêmio, cannot agree on an exit fee, sources told ESPN.

Suárez is willing to return a total of $10 million of his earnings to walk away, but sources said Grêmio also wants guarantees that the Uruguayan player will not play at any other club in 2023.

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Suárez, 36, is keen to join his former Camp Nou teammates Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets at the MLS club, despite claiming in June that it would be “impossible.”

On Tuesday, Inter Miami owner Jorge Mas said: “I don’t know how Luis Suárez can leave Grêmio. But if he does, we are free to talk to Luis and bring him to Inter Miami. That possibility would be there.”

Suárez, who has a contract with Grêmio through 2024 and has scored 13 goals in 30 games for the club, has repeatedly complained of pain in his right knee.

Sources told ESPN the impasse is over Suárez’s fitness regarding the knee pain he has had since May. Grêmio manager Renato Gaúcho and club officials are aware of the knee issues, but sources told ESPN that Suárez has said that if he is released from the club and recovers before the end of the year, he should have the right to return to play with his new club.

Three Grêmio club doctors have examined Suárez’s knee, and sources said Suárez has been obliged to play through the pain until the club can find a substitute for the striker.

Sources said Suárez feels as though his knee cannot handle the sheer amount of matches required by the Brazil league and does not want to let the fans down. Suárez has said he would prefer to play in a league with an easier calendar, such as MLS, according to sources.

Suárez signed with the Porto Alegre-based club on a free transfer with a two-year deal in 2022 after leaving his boyhood club Nacional in Uruguay. In three months with Nacional, he scored eight goals in 16 games and won the Uruguayan championship.

Previously the 35-year-old enjoyed success in Europe with Ajax Amsterdam, Liverpool, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. He won five LaLiga titles in seven years in Spain.

Miami is also near a deal for free agent Jordi Alba, sources told ESPN. Alba reached an agreement to end his contract with Barcelona last month.

Inter Miami’s Mas told reporters Tuesday: “I expect that Jordi Alba has signed his contract. I know that Tata [Martino] is counting on him for the second half of the cup.”

Any move to Miami would be further complicated by MLS’ roster restrictions. Following the signings of Messi and Busquets, Miami already has its full quota of three designated players, alongside forward Leonardo Campana.

It is possible Suarez or Camapana could be registered using targeted allocation money, but even then, Miami is limited.

For the 2023 season, the MLS salary budget is $5,210,000 per team, which excludes DPs and allocation money. Each team in the league has $2,720,000 in targeted allocation money (TAM) available to it in 2023 — essentially supplementing the salary cap.

But as part of the sanctions levied against Inter Miami for the past violations, the club has had $2,271,250 deducted from its allocation allotment spread across the 2022 and 2023 seasons.

Inter Miami hasn’t won an MLS match in more than two months. It has gone 0-8-3 in MLS regular-season play since beating New England on May 13.

Information from ESPN in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay contributed to this report.

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