Liverpool owner John W Henry says that Luis Suarez does have a £40 million minimum fee release clause in his deal at Anfield, the Reds turned down Arsenal’s £40,000,001 transfer bid last summer because “contracts don’t seem to mean a lot in England.”
Henry was speaking in a question and answer session at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, and was asked about Luis Suarez’s importance to Liverpool.
“Luis Suarez is the top scorer in the English Premier League, which is arguably the top soccer league in the world,” Henry is quoted as saying in the Metro.
“He had a buyout clause of £40m. Arsenal, one of our prime rivals – this year we’re tied for second… we’re actually second because of goal difference.
“They offered £40m plus £1. What we’ve found… is that contracts don’t seem to mean a lot in England – actually, in world football.
“It doesn’t matter how long a player’s contract is, he can decide he’s leaving.
“We sold a player, Fernando Torres, for £50m, that we did not want to sell – we were forced to.
“Since apparently these contracts don’t seem to hold, we took the position that we’re just not selling.
“It’s been great for Luis, it’s been great for us.
“We have three gentlemen up front – Suarez, Sterling and Sturridge – who are young… I think Luis and those three could be together for a long time.”
Suarez missed the first six games of the season through suspension, after biting Branislav Ivanovic in a match against Chelsea at the tail end of the last campaign, but has returned in remarkable form.
The Uruguayan leads the Premier League in both goals and assists, having scored 24 times and set up ten goals in 23 games.
Gunners manager Arsene Wenger will only be able to imagine what could have been.