Barcelona forward Jeffren Suarez is set to join Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon.

The Spanish club said on its website late Monday that Jeffren had been given permission to leave Barcelona's preseason tour in the United States to ''negotiate his contract'' with Sporting.

''(Jeffren) has helped us a lot in the last three years,'' Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola said in Miami. ''But given his age we thought it better that he play more.''

Last season, the 23-year-old Jeffren played in 13 games with his sole goal coming in Barcelona's 5-0 thrashing of Real Madrid.

Jeffren, who turned 23 this year, was eligible to help Spain win the under-21 European championship earlier this year since he was born before the Jan. 1, 1988, cutoff date.