Striker now accepts key clause in his deal does not mean Kop club MUST sell him if they receive an offer of over £40million
Arsenal will have to pay £55million if they still want Luis Suarez, after the striker dropped his pursuit of arbitration as a means of leaving for less.
The Gunners’ boss Arsene Wenger had indicated he was ready to dig in and wait to see the outcome of a contract dispute between the striker and Liverpool, after submitting a bid of £40m plus one pound – which was supposed to trigger a release clause.
Yet, in fresh talks early this week with his club, Suarez has finally conceded he will not approach the Premier League to arbitrate – because the contract clearly states the Anfield giants have no obligation to sell him at ANY price.
And with the 26-year-old under contract for another three years, manager Brendan Rodgers and the Reds’ board are determined to keep him unless their valuation – thought to be around the £55m Paris Saint-Germain paid Napoli for Edinson Cavani, Suarez’s Uruguay strike partner, a fortnight ago – is matched.
A source close to the club’s American owners explained on Tuesday that lawyers have examined Suarez’s contract in detail, and have concluded there is no requirement to sell in the event of a bid topping £40m, merely a commitment to inform the player of any such approach.
“We are 100 per cent confident – there is absolutely no obligation to sell and that is very clear,” the source explained.
“We’ve all examined the clause in detail. All it obliges is good faith negotiations about Luis’s future.”
Wenger’s problems are compounded by the fact Liverpool are determined not to sell to one of their direct rivals for the top-four place they are targeting in the coming season.
And that means Suarez has only three options if he is to get his desire to go to a club engaged in the 2013-14 Champions League – a sentiment he reiterated at a meeting with the club at the start of this week.
Option one would require Wenger to make a bid so massive it would convince Liverpool to sell – and sources within Anfield suggest that figure would have to be well beyond £50m for them to even contemplate doing business with another English club.
Option two is for Suarez to take the drastic action which Carlos Tevez attempted when he tried to force a move away from Manchester City… but the Argentine’s ‘strike’ plan backfired dramatically and he was left to rot in the reserves amid widespread global condemnation.
While Suarez has indicated to Arsenal he is prepared to agitate for a move, he has stopped short of submitting a transfer request.
Nor has he shown any appetite for the extreme course of action he pursued when he eventually engineered a switch to Ajax from fellow Dutch side Groningen.
That leaves his final option, and perhaps the only real prospect now of a route out of Anfield – a bid from a foreign club.
While Liverpool are determined to ensure any English suitors meet their massive valuation, their preferred option, if Suarez does leave, is to see him disappear from the Premier League, and they could be persuaded to reduce the fee for a team from overseas.
Real Madrid are still the striker’s preferred option. And even though the Spanish giants are currently consumed with their passionate pursuit of Spurs’ Gareth Bale, they have indicated there is some interest in Suarez.
If they can raise sufficient funds, Real could still bid later in the transfer window, and Liverpool would be more inclined to allow that deal to happen – especially if they are given the time to line up a suitable replacement.