Luis Suarez has said he accepts that Barcelona is looking for his replacement as they plan life without the striker. Suarez – who scored a hat-trick that Barca beat Real Madrid 5-1 last weekend – will be 32 in January, causing the club to see the future. Paco Alcacer, Uruguay international’s understudy for the past two years came to Borussia Dortmund on loan this summer, and the Bundesliga club plans to take an opportunity to make the move permanent.

Munir El Haddadi is the only other natural striker in the Barcelona team of Ernesto Valverde, although he is not in the contract at the end of the season. Sources have told ESPN FC that although Barca’s immediate priorities are elsewhere in the transfer market, the search for a new center-forward has begun.

“It’s normal,” Suarez, who has a contract until 2021, told Uruguay Sport 890 when asked about Barca looking for a replacement for him. “First and foremost, in my age and with the career I’ve had, I have to be above all criticism. Now, when they say that Barcelona needs a new No. 9, there is nothing strange about it. “It’s clear they have to bring players. I’m 31, and Barca has to think about a club about the future. They should always use strike, left backpacks or whatever it may be.”

Suarez, who joined Liverpool in 2014, scored more than 150 goals for the La Liga champions, but his form had been questioned at the start of this season. He reacted strongly last weekend, Clasico, scoring three times as Madrid was humiliated at Camp Nou. “With regard to the criticism, I’m happy when I help the team, even though I do not score goals,” said Suarez, who now has seven goals in his last 10 league matches.