PFA: Liverpool not obliged to sell Suarez

Professional Footballers' Association boss Gordon Taylor has contradicted Luis Suarez by declaring that the striker does not have a clear £40 million buy-out clause in his Liverpool contract.

Taylor, chief executive of the players' union, says that the club are not obliged to sell Suarez.

The Uruguay international gave interviews to the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday, insisting that he had the legal right to force through a move to Arsenal, who saw a £40,000,001 bid rejected on July 23.

Liverpool have maintained that they only have to inform Suarez of any offers above £40 million - and do not have to sell at that price.

The 26-year-old said in his Guardian interview that Liverpool had promised him a year ago that he could leave if the club failed to qualify for the 2013-14 Champions League, adding: "And it is not just something verbal with the coach but something that is written in the contract."

And he told the Telegraph: "We have the backing of the PFA."

But Taylor, whose organisation has been in touch with both player and club in an attempt to resolve the dispute, says that Liverpool have only agreed to negotiate with any club making a bid of more than £40 million.

He told the Press Association: "If you are going to have a supposed buy-out clause, it should be that - but it is different as it says [that] if there is no qualification for the Champions League and if there is a minimum offer of £40 million, then the parties will get around the table to discuss things. But it does not say the club has to sell.

"It quite clearly states £40 million is a minimum offer for discussions, but it becomes really difficult with such clauses. There is a 'good faith' clause in relation to serious discussions but I can’t say it is a cast-iron buy-out clause.

"Luis is one of our members and we want to be supportive. However, he may well have thought such an offer would trigger a move."

Suarez missed Liverpool’s 4-1 friendly victory over Valerenga in Oslo on Wednesday night, remaining on Merseyside as the club said he had a foot problem.

He is not expected to figure when Liverpool play their final pre-season match, against Celtic in Dublin.

And the striker will not be able to play again in the Premier League until September, as he completes a 10-match suspension imposed in April after he bit Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during a 2-2 Premier League draw at Anfield.

Taylor is keen to see the matter resolved, adding: "At the moment, it is certainly festering and I don't think it is a good situation for the player or the clubs involved.

"It is not edifying and that is why I feel we had to do our best to get round the table and see if there are grounds for consideration for the move but it (the clause) is not specific and 100 per cent certain.

"We are in touch with both parties to try to see if some resolution can be achieved that is satisfactory to both sides."

Suarez stated in his interviews with the Guardian and the Telegraph that manager Brendan Rodgers had assured him he would be able to leave this summer if Liverpool were not in this coming season’s Champions League.