Thursday 14 December 2017

Luis Suarez insists there is no Real Madrid clause in his Liverpool contract

Luis Suarez of Liverpool and his wife Sofia Balbi sit with their daughter Delfina during the presentation as new Ambassador for 888poker today
Luis Suarez of Liverpool and his wife Sofia Balbi sit with their daughter Delfina during the presentation as new Ambassador for 888poker today

Carl Markham

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has dismissed continued speculation about him leaving the club and insists he is not aware of a specific clause in his contract giving certain clubs priority in any transfer dealings.

Last summer was memorable for the wrangle between the player and the club after the 27-year-old tried to manufacture a move away from Anfield after learning of interest from Arsenal.

The Gunners made a bid of £40million plus £1 in the misguided belief it would trigger a clause in his contract which they thought existed for any Champions League club.

Principal owner John W Henry was steadfast in his refusal to sell the Uruguay international and after intervention from the Professional Footballers' Association and a brief spell training on his own as punishment for his behaviour Suarez returned to have arguably the best season of his career, scoring 31 league goals as Liverpool finished second.

In December he surprised many by signing a new, far more lucrative contract and that triggered speculation a clause had been inserted to placate the striker should one of Europe's big clubs come in for him.

Real Madrid are continually linked with him but Suarez insists he is not aware of any clause.

"No, no, not as far as I am aware," he said.

"There is no clause that suggests a priority for a specific team."

Suarez, speaking at press conference in Barcelona after becoming a global ambassador for 888poker, was pressed by the local media on whether he would like to play in Spain.

He was asked whether he would like to play with Neymar and Lionel Messi, to which he replied: "Everyone knows they are great players."

Asked whether he could fit into Barcelona's system as a number nine he added: "I'm not the coach. They know what they need. I have a contract with Liverpool."

And on a move to Spain he said: "My head now is focused on the World Cup.

"I had a very good season with Liverpool but now I am focused on the World Cup.

"Everyone knows that there is always too much media speculation.

"I turn the page (when he sees speculation) - you know what the press is like, how they speculate, and you try to not take any notice.

"I know what I want. My agent tells me what's there and what's not. It's more speculation than reality."

Suarez's desire to do well for Liverpool was evident when he buried his head in his shirt and broke down in tears after the 3-3 draw at Crystal Palace in their penultimate game of the season which effectively ended their title bid.

"I was so angry on the inside. A week before we had real hopes of winning the league and after the Palace game, we knew that it had gone," he said.

"We had lost the chance. I felt frustration and rage at the fact that the opportunity had been lost.

"I covered my face because I was so hurt and frustrated. I preferred people not to see me.

"In the end it was a pity: we had the opportunity but didn't take it.

"The key game was against Chelsea. We lacked a little of...not luck, exactly, but a bit of concentration.

"If they hadn't scored when they did at the end of the first half, it was impossible that they were going to score and a draw was fine.

"But if you look at the previous years, at what Liverpool had done before and at what we did this season, it was a magnificent season.

"To get back into the Champions League, and to finish second, is a great for us.

"There are lots of young players who will grow a lot and improve.

"This year is an example for them to follow, to play even better next year."

Liverpool rounded off their season with a 4-0 win over Shamrock Rovers in Dublin's Aviva Stadium.

None of the Reds' World Cup contingent were involved in the game but a side made up of mainly fringe players ran out comfortable victors thanks to goals from Iago Aspas, Fabio Borini, Martin Kelly and Jack Dunn.

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