Transfer balls: Liverpool allow Luis Suarez to talk to Arsenal (and his tribunal lawyer)
TRANSFER Balls: Is Luis Suarez leaving Liverpool for Arsenal? Today we learnt:
Arsenal tabled a £40,000,001 offer for Luis Suarez last night with the extraneous penny thought to be designed to trigger a clause in the Uruguayan’s Liverpool contract that meant the club had to inform the striker of the bid.
However, the clause didn’t/doesn’t state that Liverpool have to accept the offer, and they jolly well didn’t either – with owner John W Henry tweeing “what do you think they’re smoking over there at Emirates?” after announcing he’d rejected the bid on Twitter.
Anyhow, that’s now two bids Liverpool have rejected for Suarez from Arsenal and you’ve got to wonder what they’re holding out for – £40million is a lot of money to knock back – though we’re guessing ‘Pool are waiting until “Cavani-esque” money is slapped on the table (£50-55million) before they even countenance doing business.
In the Guardian we read:
The Arsenal chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, was informed by his Anfield counterpart, Ian Ayre, that Liverpool would not consider a sum of £40m for Suárez when he lodged an opening offer of £30m plus £5m in add-ons.
But that has not deterred Arsenal from returning, a fortnight later, with an offer that activates a clause in Suárez’s contract by one pound. Under the terms of a contract signed in August, Liverpool must inform last season’s leading goalscorer of a club’s interest once they receive a bid of more than £40m.
Sky Sports adds:
By exceeding the £40million mark, Arsenal’s offer means Liverpool have to inform Suarez of the offer but it does not trigger a buy-out clause.
So. That’s £40m for a player who wants to leave. Good money, no? You might wonder what Liverpool are smoking? And what about that contract?
Daniel Geey, a football lawyer at Field Fisher Waterhouse, goes on the record:
“Premier League regulatory commissions have previously been tasked to look at such cases, as Liverpool know from the Christian Ziege ruling in 2002. The difficulty in the Luis Suárez case is that, even if it went as far as a regulatory commission or to court, and the judge made it clear what the clause says, that is not going to happen before this transfer window closes and perhaps not even before the January transfer window closes.
“Presumably Arsenal are not supposed to know about any confidential clauses in Suárez’s contract. That was the problem for Liverpool in the Ziege case when they were fined for making an illegal approach after they were informed of a £5.5m release clause in Ziege’s [Middlesbrough] contract. The commercial reality is that Luis Suárez may have to force Liverpool’s hand or Arsenal will raise their offer. Liverpool are not going to force the issue in relation to a provision which they believe does not allow Suárez to speak to prospective suitors.”
The BBC adds:
Luis Suarez will be allowed to hold talks with Arsenal but Liverpool have no intention of selling their striker until his £50m-plus valuation is met.
So. Arsenal will meet with Suarez; offer him amazing money; offer him Champions’ League football and a shot at the Premier League title; then he will go back to Liverpool – the club he wants to leave – and sit quietly until Arsenal find another £10m?
The lawyers must be laughing…