Liverpool Owner: I’ve Personally Told Arsenal We Won’t Sell Suarez At Any Price
Liverpool owner John Henry has dealt Arsenal’s hopes of signing Luis Suarez a decisive blow after stating that the striker wont be sold at any price this summer
With the summer transfer window now open, there is plenty of gossip doing the rounds in the newspapers so we’ll keep you up-to-date with the latest transfer rumours. Today, Liverpool insist Luis Suarez will not be sold this summer.
Liverpool owner John W Henry has dealt Arsenal’s hopes of signing Luis Suarez a decisive blow after publicly stating that the striker will not be sold at any price this summer, according to the Guardian.
Suarez went public with his desire to leave Liverpool for Arsenal this summer in a stunning interview in the Telegraph on Tuesday where he pleaded with Liverpool to let him leave in order to play in the Champions League next season.
The Uruguayan claims to have both a verbal and written agreement with the club that allows him to leave this summer if someone tables a bid in excess of £40m – something the Gunners have done two weeks ago.
However, Liverpool rejected Arsenal’s £40,000,001 offer and insist there is no buy-out clause and following on from Brendan Rodgers’ dressing down of the player on Wednesday where he accused the hitman of showing Liverpool a lack of respect, owner J.W.Henry has now had his say in a hard-hitting interview in the Guardian.
The American described the idea of selling their star man to Arsenal as “ludicrous” as they regard the north Londoners as a main rival for a top-four finish next season and he says he’s told Ivan Gazidis personally that they will not be selling to the Gunners this summer.
Henry also claims they will refuse to sell to any club, at any price this summer, as there is no time left for the club to find an adequate replacement. Here’s what Henry told the Guardian:
“We are not going to sell Luis. For all the top clubs it’s extremely important [not to sell to a rival] but especially for Liverpool because we’re not in Europe this year and have not been in the Champions League for a while. To sell to a rival for those positions, or one of them, would be ludicrous. Liverpool needs to be playing in Europe. It needs to be playing in the Champions League. That’s what Liverpool football club is about.”
“I’m unequivocal that we won’t sell to Arsenal, whatever the bid is. I have not said it to Stan [Kroenke, Arsenal’s majority shareholder] but I had a personal conversation with others at Arsenal and told him [Gazidis] we would not sell to Arsenal.”
“He won’t be sold even if a foreign club comes in because we do not have time to sign a suitable replacement,” he said. “It’s a football reason. It’s not about finances. That’s why at this point, so late in the window, with everyone who’s already moved or isn’t moving, we can’t replace him. So for football reasons we can’t sell, and especially to Arsenal.”
“We made that clear early-on. Players usually want to win. They want to go, generally in any sport, where they can win. That’s why I think this particular episode is misguided. We’ve won more trophies than Arsenal, but I really don’t want to get into that.”
Henry feels the issue has now been resolved and is adamant Suarez will still be a Liverpool player when the transfer window closes. He continued:
“I think the issue has been resolved now,” he said. “We have said ‘no’. Luis will be a Liverpool player on September 3 [the day after the transfer window closes].”
The LFC supremo was then asked if he could see Suárez playing for Liverpool again, to which he responded:
“That’s going to be between the manager and player. The manager is upset, as he should be, the supporters are upset, Luis is, but that’s going to be between those two and his team-mates. We need Luis. Hopefully this will pass.
“If you look at the full context of what’s happened here it’s jarring to all our supporters. The club has stood by him so strongly at a time when you could question whether the club should have stood by him [over the Patrice Evra racism controversy], but they did. I wouldn’t say we regret that. The manager and his team-mates were solidly behind him. They were out on the field that day. So we felt they knew more about what occurred than we did, on the field.”
These are definitive lines from the Liverpool owner and it’s difficult to see how he could back down from this stance, so it seems they are prepared to force the want-away striker to remain at Anfield.
It leaves Arsenal’s bid to sign Suarez, and the players bid to force a move, hanging in the balance. Suarez still has the option of handing in an official transfer request but that’s highly unlikely to change the Merseysiders hard-line approach.
The only avenue left is for the South American to take his case to the Premier League in the hope that they side with him over this contentious clause. However, PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor revealed that there is no specific buy-out clause in the contract and there is no guarantee taking the case before the Premier League would result in him getting a move. He did say there is a ‘good faith’ clause that states Liverpool have to enter negotiations if a club offers in excess of £40m – but they are under no obligation to sell.
So it seems Arsenal’s pursuit of Suarez has hit a dead end and even if they up their bid to beyond £50m, it would still be rejected, judging by Henry’s remarks tonight.
Do you think Liverpool are right to force Suarez to stay? Or should they cash in and move on? Share your views below.
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