Arsenal’s primary transfer target Luis Suarez has finally broken his silence over Liverpool’s strong reluctance to let him leave for a club that can participate in the Champions League this season, namely Arsenal.
The Uruguayan has been silent in recent weeks regarding a move away from Liverpool, but the Liverpool hitman has now revealed that there is a verbal agreement in place between himself and Brendan Rodgers to let him leave for a Champions League club if Liverpool failed to make the top four.
As well as the verbal agreement, Suarez also references the contentious clause in his contract which in his own understanding should allow him to leave if a bid over £40m pound is lodged. He also claims that the PFA are on his side.
Suarez is quoted as saying by The Telegraph:
I want to move to play in the Champions League and there is a club offering me that opportunity, I have told the manager that I want to leave the club.
I am being accused of showing a lack of loyalty but last year I had the opportunity to move to a big European club and I stayed on the understanding that if we did not qualify for the Champions League the following season then I would be allowed to go.
I gave absolutely everything last season but it was not enough to give us a top-four finish. Now all I want is that Liverpool honour our agreement.
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Last season, we told Liverpool there was interest from a top European club but they told me: ‘we have a new coach, we are going to push for the Champions League’.
I spoke with Brendan Rodgers several times and he told me: ‘stay another season, and you have my word, if we don’t make it then I will personally make sure that you can leave’.
Liverpool is a club with a reputation for doing things the right way, I just want them to abide by the promises made last season.
I have the club’s word and we have the written contract and we are happy to take this to the Premier League for them to decide the case but I do not want it to come to that. We have the backing of the PFA.
Suarez also reflected on the loyalty he showed when Juventus came knocking at the beginning of last season:
That was the moment to show my loyalty to Liverpool and I did. They had given me my chance in England and stood up for me through my ban. I know I have made mistakes in my time here but I have apologised many times over. This is not about that. This is about the club having agreed to something both verbally and in the contract which they are now not honouring.
I am 26, I need to be playing in the Champions League. I feel I have done enough to be playing in the Champions League at this stage of my career. Now there is an option for me to do that and I want very much to take it.
I don’t feel betrayed but the club promised me something a year ago just as I promised them that I would stay and try everything possible to get us into the Champions League.
They gave me their word a year ago and now I want them to honour that. It is not just something verbal with the coach but something that is written in the contract.
I don’t think the supporters are angry, I think they understand a player when he has the ambition to triumph at the highest level. I was a long time at Ajax without playing many games in the Champions League. I’m not going to another club to hurt Liverpool.
I am always going to be grateful to Liverpool for everything. But I have to put my career first. People say Liverpool deserve more from me but I have scored 50 goals in less than 100 games and now I could double the money they paid for me.
I just ask that they respect the objectives I have in my career. I don’t want things to end badly. I just want us to come to an amicable agreement according to what was agreed.
Right now the Premier League is the biggest and most important. My record shows that I am not the kind of player who wants to change clubs every season.
I have no problem playing in England for many more years. If we are just talking about the level of the football and the way the supporters are then it is an incredible league. Any player in the world at the moment would like to play in the Premier League.
I had just arrived in Uruguay where the press are very good to me because I am one of theirs.
They asked me about the press in England and what am I going to say? Of course I don’t like the fact that my wife goes to the supermarket and there are photographers. But I realise that the press attention is the same wherever you go.
Speaking on the support of Steven Gerrard and other Liverpool players he said:
He and the other players have always supported me and I am grateful for that. It is the same with the supporters. I got a great reception at the weekend.
When you are at a club for as long as you are together you stick up for each other but that does not give the club the right to go back on their commitment.
While Suarez is pushing the issue I am still reluctant to think Liverpool would sell their star player to a Premier League competitor, particularly when at the moment Arsenal are one of the numerous teams vying to squeeze into a Champions League spot for next season (seeing as we haven’t really strengthened the squad to challenge for higher honours).
At the same time, Suarez is essentially dragging the Liverpool name through the mud so I have no doubt that Liverpool will sell at the right price, but will certainly be waiting for an suitor outside the Premier League to make any kind of acceptable offer. However, in saying this it would be interesting to see what Liverpool do if they are simply stuck in a corner with Arsenal as the only interested party and whether Suarez seeks legal assistance to essentially force the move.
On the topic on Suarez himself, I am all for him coming to Arsenal. I am not going to deny he comes with a signficant amount of baggage or that he dives and cheats, but the numbers don’t lie and to say he is not a top-class striker is a blatent lie and I have never denied he doesn’t have top-class talent. He would strengthen essentially any team in the Premier League.
If we don’t land Suarez, will Wenger go for another high-profile stiker? It seems our eggs are all in one basket and I can see Wenger reverting to the old ‘the current squad can compete for the Premier League title’ should Arsenal fail in their attempt to sign him. Regardless of his reputation, I still feel he would boost team morale and even that of fans if he was allowed to come to Arsenal. He is an immense player and I would welcome him at Arsenal.
What do you guys think? Feel free to leave a comment below.