Liverpool striker Luis Suarez will not be sold for less than £50 million after the Uruguayan accepted he does not have a £40 million release clause in his contract, according to reports.
Arsenal believed they had triggered a clause last week by bidding £40,000,001 but were swiftly informed that the only significance of that figure was that the former Ajax man was required to be informed of the offer.
Suarez had been tipped to challenge Liverpool’s stance with the Premier League but the forward, who wasthe Reds' top scorer last season, has sought no action.
That leaves Arsenal needing to stump up Liverpool’s asking price of £50 million if they are to prise Suarez away from Anfield.
The Telegraph quotes a senior Liverpool source saying: “We’ve all examined the clause in detail. All it obliges is for us to enter good faith negotiations about Luis’s future.
"There is absolutely no obligation to sell and that is very clear."
It is believed the Reds had considered seeking clarification from Arsenal about why they entered the £40,000,001 bid - as the contract information was confidential and it is against Premier League regulations for rival clubs to access it - but they are not pursuing the matter.
Real Madrid have also shown an interest in Suarez but Gareth Bale remains their No. 1 target and the Uruguayan would only return to Los Blancos’ radar if they fail to land him.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has acknowledged the possibility of losing Suarez but believes his squad will be more than able to cope if the striker moves on, and has paid tribute to his squad for remaining focused throughout the saga.
“It could have unsettled them but it hasn’t,” Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo. “It’s two-fold really. Firstly, it says a lot about their professionalism. The environment we’re creating is that the star will always be the team.
“We want the top players here. But if, for whatever reason we don’t, we will always know we can rely on the team and each other. Secondly, it’s also testament to Luis. He hasn’t been moping about.
“It’s obviously difficult when you come back after a break, but he has settled in and been working well. The harmony in the group is very good. The spirit is strong. Right across the club, there is a one-club mentality. If we can keep it that way, we can have a great season.”
Suarez was given a break after playing for Uruguay at the Confederations Cup in Brazil in June, joining up with the Liverpool squad during their tour of the Far East and Australia.
Rodgers’ players are back on Merseyside to prepare for Steven Gerrard’s testimonial, against Olympiakos at Anfield on Saturday.
Suarez will be available for that match, but is banned from domestic competitive football until September, having been handed a 10-match suspension for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during a Premier League match in April.