SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 20, 2011: Liverpool's Luis Alberto Suarez Diaz celebrates scoring the second goal against Sunderland with team-mates Raul Meireles, Lucas Leiva and Glen Johnson during the Premiership match at the Stadium of Light. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Luis Suarez set for reunion with ex-Liverpool team-mate in Brazil move

Luis Suarez is set to be reunited with a former Liverpool team-mate, with the 35-year-old striker close to joining Brazilian side Gremio on a free transfer.

Suarez returned to Uruguay on a short-term deal in July, rejoining boyhood club Nacional, but is now due to depart after scoring eight goals in 16 games.

The veteran, who was part of the Uruguay squad knocked out of the World Cup at the group stage this month, has taken in spells in the Netherlands, England and Spain during a decorated career.

He will now head to Brazil, according to journalist Cesar Luis Merlo, with a verbal agreement reached over a two-year contract with Gremio.

Brazilian outlet ge also brought word from Gremio’s vice president of football Paulo Caleffi, who revealed that during talks with Suarez, a “friend” – said to be Lionel Messi – had urged him to join the Porto Alegre club.

The deal is expected to be concluded by Christmas Day, with Suarez reportedly turning down a more lucrative offer from Mexican side Cruz Azul.

If Suarez does complete the switch to Gremio, he will be reunited with Lucas Leiva, who he spent three-and-a-half years alongside at Liverpool.

2JEMN8R June 27, 2022, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil: The player Lucas Leiva, is presented as a new reinforcement of Gremio, at Arena do Gremio, this Monday 27th. (Credit Image: © Richard Ducker/Sport Press Photo via ZUMA Press)

Lucas returned to Gremio on an 18-month contract in June, though he is currently unable to train after pre-season medical checks diagnosed a heart problem for the midfielder.

He has dismissed claims he has been forced to retire, though no decision has been made yet over whether he can continue to play.

Gremio earned promotion back to the Brazilian top flight last season, with Lucas playing a key role in their success in Serie B, including a decisive goal against Nautico in October.

Lucas and Suarez made 75 appearances alongside each other at Liverpool, with the midfielder assisting two goals for his team-mate.