Transfer news: Luis Suarez allowed to hold talks with Arsenal after bid triggers clause - but Liverpool want in excess of £50m

Liverpool owner John W Henry asks what Arsenal are “smoking” following offer

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The Independent Football

Luis Suarez will be allowed to hold talks with Arsenal following a bid of £40m - however Liverpool will not sanction his sale at the current price.

Following talks today after the Reds' 2-0 victory over Melbourne Victory in Australia, in which Suarez provided an assist, the BBC report that the striker has been told he can speak to the Gunners about a potential move.

However, he will not be allowed to leave until a bid in excess of £50m is received.

It is understood the Gunners have offered £40m plus £1 - a bid designed to trigger a clause in the striker's contract.

There was some conflict over exactly what that clause stipulates. Liverpool understood they must consider bids in excess of £40m, and then inform the player of the offer and their decision. However, they do not have to accept the bid.

Yet Suarez interprets the clause differently - believing it allows him to now speak to his suitors. It would appear the striker has got his way following talks with Brendan Rodgers and managing director Ian Ayre in Australia.

After the game Rodgers said: "There's nothing new to report, he [Suarez] is very much a Liverpool player and over the course of the next couple of weeks we've got to get him up to speed."

Rodgers went on to express that Suarez owes Liverpool a debt.

"The support he has received from the supporters and the people of the city of Liverpool has been unrivalled.

"In this period of time he's missed a lot of games for the club through various reasons. The people have stood by him like a son and really looked after him. Whatever happens in the coming weeks that will be in his mind because it's something you can never forget."

The Gunners had already seen a bid of £30m rejected earlier this month and had been widely expected to return with a higher offer.

They have now done that - but Liverpool remain resolute that the Uruguay international will not be allowed to leave for the figure of £40m with a tweet from owner John W Henry giving an indication as to the club's position.

Henry tweeted after details of the bid emerged: "What do you think they're smoking over there at Emirates?"

It is unclear if the American is referring to the amount of money offered or Arsenal's general conduct in the pursuit of the striker.