The Uruguayan signed a new “long-term” contract at Anfield on Friday but it includes the option for him to leave for a set price should one of Europe’s biggest clubs show interest
By Wayne Veysey | UK Correspondent
Luis Suarez has a buy-out clause in his new Liverpool contract which allows him to be sold to an overseas club from next summer.
The precise release figure, which can only be triggered by a non-English club, is unknown but sources anticipate it is in the region of €71-84 million.
Suarez signed a four-and-a-half year contract on Friday that is worth £200,000-a-week plus bonuses as Liverpool moved quickly to tie down the outstanding player in this season’s Premier League ahead of the January window.
Both parties were keen to avoid a repeat of last summer’s transfer saga, when confusion reigned in the player’s camp over whether he could leave after Arsenal bid £40m-plus-£1 for him.
Goal understands that Suarez and his agent Pere Guardiola were keen to obtain a watertight agreement that the striker could leave if Liverpool should again fail to qualify for the Champions League.
The Merseysiders, on their part, wanted to ensure the Uruguayan cannot sign for another English club without their consent.
The new buy-out clause allows some leeway for Suarez should his sensational personal form not be matched by the progress of Brendan Rodgers’ team in the second half of the season.
Suarez, who had two-and-a-half years remaining on his previous contract, claimed he will honour his long-term commitment to Liverpool. “It’s nice because when you extend your contract, you extend it because you want to stay here for the future,” said the striker, who turns 28 in January.
“I signed not only for two-and-a-half more years, but I signed for a long time to stay here and I am so happy. When you are happy, you try everything for the best for the future. I spoke a lot with my family because my family are very important to me and they are happy here. We spoke over the last few weeks with the club and everything is OK. I don’t have a problem; the club don’t have a problem, so it’s very good.”
The timing of the deal, which was sealed following swift negotiations between Guardiola and Ian Ayre, Liverpool’s managing director, in Barcelona this week, is instructive.
Real Madrid were preparing to lay the foundations for a concerted move for Suarez in January, even though it was always more likely that he woukd remain at Anfield until the end of the season.
Suarez has scored a remarkable 17 league goals in 11 games since returning from suspension on 25 September.
He added: “I believe I can achieve the ambitions of winning trophies and playing at the very highest level with Liverpool. My aim is to help get us there as quickly as possible.”
Liverpool’s America-based owners Fenway Sports Group have previously been reluctant to extend contracts mid-season but moved quickly to secure the services of Suarez with a contract that comfortably makes him the best-paid player in the club’s history.
Principal owner John W Henry said: “We are committed to working hard to keep our best players and this is an indication that we are moving in the right direction and moving at a pace that impresses one of the best players in world football.”