Luis Suarez transfer news: Arsenal triggered release clause with £40m bid, but Liverpool ignored it reveals owner John W Henry

Henry reveals that the club refused to sell Suarez last summer with his belief that player contracts mean very little in this day and age

Arsenal did activate a release clause in Luis Suarez’s contract last summer when they made a £40m plus a pound offer for the Liverpool striker, but the Reds’ hierarchy rejected the bid because “contracts don’t seem to mean a lot”.

That is the view of Liverpool owner John W Henry, who has revealed that the club refused to allow the Uruguayan to leave the club and are now reaping the benefits, with the 26-year-old agreeing a new four-and-a-half year contract to remain at Anfield.

The Gunners thought they had activated a clause that would allow them to negotiate a move for Suarez, who was pushing for a move away from the club after they failed to secure European football at the end of last season.

 

And Henry confirmed his belief that they were in a position to reject the approach as “apparently these contacts don’t seem to hold”, despite the view that it was a breach of contract or as Suarez put it at the time the club had reneged on their word.

Speaking at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference over the weekend, Henry also said in a filmed panel discussion that Liverpool will qualify for the Champions League and have an outsiders chance of winning the Premier League this season.

“Luis Suarez is the top scorer in the English Premier League which is arguably the top soccer league in the world,” said Henry.

“And he had a buy-out clause - I don't know what degree I should go into this - but he had a buy-out clause of £40million - more than 60 million (US) dollars. So Arsenal, one of our prime rivals this year ... they offered £40million and one pound for him and triggered his buy-out clause.

“But what we've found over the years is that contracts don't seem to mean a lot in England - actually not in England, in world football. It doesn't matter how long a player's contract is, he can decide he's leaving.

“We sold Fernando Torres for £50million. We didn't want to sell but we were forced to.

“For the first time (with Suarez) we took the position that we weren't selling.

“Since apparently these contracts don't seem to hold, we took the position we're just not selling and it's been great for Luis, it's been great for us, and what will happen at the end of year ... I think we’re going to make Champions League and we have a small chance of winning the Premier League this year.

“We have three gentlemen up front: Suarez, (Raheem) Sterling and (Daniel) Sturridge. Those three are young, and I think Luis and those three could be together for a long time.”

Liverpool experienced their own release clause heartache in the January transfer window, when their pursuit of Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk winger Yevhen Konoplyanka looked to be edging towards a £15m transfer, only to fall at the last hurdle as confusion spread over an apparent release clause in his contract.

The Reds were also interested in Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa last summer, when the Brazilian-born Spanish international had a £27m release clause of his own. Despite reports that the Premier League club activated that fee, Costa chose to remain with the La Liga title contenders and has since signed a new deal of his own, with an inflated release clause believed to be in the region of £32m.

Read More:
Southampton 0 Liverpool 3: Reds soar into title contention
Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project