10 years ago, Arsenal made their infamous £40m+ £1 bid for Luis Suarez but you never hear about how he DID have a clause that Arsenal triggered nor how Liverpool’s owner admitted ignoring it.
When Arsenal moved for Luis Suarez in 2013, the main detail that the media focused on was the Gunners bidding £40,000,001 for the striker and how ridiculous that seemed.
Since apparently these contracts don’t seem to hold, we took the position that we’re just not selling.
They reported that Arsenal thought Suarez’s release clause was £40m, how funny that they would only bid a single pound more! Hilarious!
What they fail to focus on to this day is the fact that Liverpool lied and just ignored the clause in Suarez’s contract that Arsenal triggered that would have allowed them to talk to the forward.
I’ve never understood why Arsenal are ridiculed for only offering £1 more than the player’s release clause.
Why bid more than you need to? Just to flex your financial muscles?
The Gunners were prepared to spend just over £40m on Suarez but they couldn’t exactly go throwing money around at that time. If the house you want to buy is £150,000, do you bid £160,000 first time out?
What do you think they're smoking over there at Emirates?
— John W. Henry (@John_W_Henry) July 24, 2013
Suarez himself, as well as Arsenal, had been led to believe that this release clause existed, which Liverpool owner, John W. Henry, denied.
“We are not going to sell Luis,” Henry said in August 2013. “It’s very important [not to sell to a rival], but especially for Liverpool because we’re not in Europe this year.
“He won’t be sold even if a foreign club comes in because we do not have time to sign a suitable replacement.
“It’s not about finances. So late in the window… we can’t replace him. So for football reasons we can’t sell, and especially to Arsenal.”
The saga was forgotten about. That was, until John W. Henry brazenly admitted a year later that he’d actually lied, Suarez did have a release clause and Liverpool just chose to ignore it.
“Luis Suarez is the top scorer in the English Premier League, which is arguably the top soccer league in the world,” Henry said.
“He had a buyout clause of £40m. Arsenal, one of our prime rivals, offered £40m plus £1. What we’ve found … is that contracts don’t seem to mean a lot in England – actually, in world football.
“It doesn’t matter how long a player’s contract is, he can decide he’s leaving. We sold a player, Fernando Torres, for £50m, that we did not want to sell, we were forced to.
“Since apparently these contracts don’t seem to hold, we took the position that we’re just not selling.
“It’s been great for Luis, it’s been great for us. We have three gentlemen up front Suárez, [Raheem] Sterling, and [Daniel] Sturridge, [they] are young, I think those three could be together for a long time.”
The fact that Liverpool admitted they lied and ignored a clause in Suarez’s contract is usually omitted from the story as the media are busy laughing about that time silly, silly Arsenal bid £40,000,001 for Suarez.
Liverpool legend, Steven Gerrard, even claimed that the Gunners bid £40m plus 1p – not £1. Although this could be just him getting his facts mixed up.
How did Gerrard convince Suárez to stay at Liverpool when Arsenal came knocking?
"Why join a club that gives you no guarantee of success?" pic.twitter.com/YP3T9DIo14
— Football on TNT Sports (@footballontnt) August 12, 2017
Suarez joined Barcelona the following year where he scored 195 goals, with 113 assists, in 283 games.
A move to Atletico Madrid followed in 2020. After two years there, Suarez moved o Nacional before a free transfer to Gremio just six months later.
His one-year contract there expires in January, just a few weeks before his 37th birthday.