Wednesday 13 December 2017

Suarez silence boosts Reds' hopes of hanging on to striker

Brendan Rodgers (left) will have Luis Suarez available against Manchester United tonight
Brendan Rodgers (left) will have Luis Suarez available against Manchester United tonight

Chris Bascombe

Liverpool's hardline stance that Luis Suarez will not be sold to Arsenal for anything below a valuation of over £50m has been reinforced by the striker's failure to challenge the nature of the clause in his deal.

Suarez has made no representation to the Premier League to seek adjudication on whether Arsenal's provocative bid of one pound over £40m obliged Liverpool to sell.

Arsenal believed their offer, submitted last week, would trigger an exit clause in the Uruguayan's contract, a suggestion the Anfield board rejected instantly.

Liverpool are unmoved by any suggestion there is ambiguity and are adamant if the Premier League were to adjudicate on any dispute the club's position would be validated further.

The lack of any approach so far does not suggest confidence on the part of the striker's advisors. Club lawyers and those of Fenway Sports Group are definite about the details of Suarez's contract and believe the 26-year-old's agent, Pere Guardiola, is well aware Arsenal's £40m bid was far too low.

"We've all examined the clause in detail," a senior Liverpool figure said. "All it obliges is for us to enter good faith negotiations about Luis' future. There is absolutely no obligation to sell and that is very clear."

Liverpool themselves could request the Premier League to ask Arsenal on what basis they bid one pound above £40m. It is contrary to league regulations for a rival club to be given access to confidential contract details of any player.

There are no Liverpool plans at this stage to pursue a complaint against the Londoners, although at the highest level of the Merseyside club there is a feeling that bidding an additional pound was rubbing Liverpool's noses in it.

It has ensured no further approaches by Arsenal are welcome at Anfield, with Liverpool hoping, as they edge closer to the end of the transfer window, that Suarez will stay for at least one more season.

Liverpool, meanwhile, have agreed a loan deal for Benfica left-back Lorenzo Melgarejo but will require a work permit if they are to proceed with signing of the Paraguay international. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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