John W. Henry says Suarez is not for sale at any price.
Liverpool chairman John W Henry says the club will not sell Luis Suarez for any price – particularly to Premier League rivals Arsenal.
The Gunners have had two bids rejected for the Uruguayan, who has gone public with his desire to leave Anfield for a Champions League club.
But Henry has ruled out Suarez’s departure, insisting it is too late in the summer to consider offloading the club’s prized asset.
“We are not going to sell Luis. It’s a football reason. It’s not finances. At this point, so late in window, with everyone who’s already moved or isn’t moving, we do not have time to replace him,” Henry is quoted as saying by The Daily Telegraph.
“So for football reasons we can’t – and especially to Arsenal. We’ve made that clear. I have said to Ivan Gazidis in a personal conversation that we will not sell to Arsenal. It is unequivocal, but that doesn’t seem to slow them down so I can’t wait to see what the next bid is.
“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 Champions League positions, or one of them, would be ludicrous. Whatever the bid is, we won’t sell him. We need Luis. Hopefully this will pass.”
Henry also expressed concerns that the details of Suarez’s contract appear to have been seen by Arsenal.
“It should have been confidential, so absolutely it concerns me,” said Henry. “How does a club that doesn’t have permission to speak with your player see his contract?
“Unfortunately, it’s the way it works in football. People don’t speak about it publicly but that’s the way it’s run. It’s how things are done. I don’t think there’s a point reporting Arsenal because it just seems to happen everywhere, throughout football.
“I think Gordon Taylor is right when he says it’s not good for either side to have any clause. It’s not good for football and maybe the Professional Footballers’ Association can do something about this.”
Suarez has branded Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers a lier and has also reportedly upset his teammates with his behaviour.
But Henry said there could be a way back for the controversial striker.
“That’s going to be between the manager and player,” said Henry.
“The manager is upset, as he should be, the supporters are, Luis is, but that’s going to be between those two and his team-mates. He’s one of the best players in the world. I have no reason to believe he won’t continue to be.
“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 you could question whether the club should have stood by him, but they did.
“There’s a saying in baseball about loyalty to the uniform. There’s a certain feeling you get when you put on a uniform as a baseball player and I’m certain it’s the same for most football players. When you put on the uniform it’s pretty special. I’d imagine for most footballers to put on the uniform of Liverpool Football Club is a big moment.”