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

Luis Suarez pictured during Liverpool's 2-1 FA Cup defeat to Arsenal
Luis Suarez pictured during Liverpool's 2-1 FA Cup defeat to Arsenal

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

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in