Luis Suarez: Liverpool have gone back on word to let me go
Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has accused the club of reneging on an agreement in his contract which stated he could leave Anfield this summer if they had not qualified for the Champions League.
The Uruguay international has also said he will submit a written transfer request by the end of the week if the Merseyside outfit continue to block a potential move to Arsenal.
Suarez, in interviews given to the Daily Telegraph and The Guardian, said he believes a clause written into the contract he signed last summer entitles him to a move.
"Last year I had the opportunity to move to a big European club and I stayed on the understanding that if we failed to qualify for the Champions League the following season I'd be allowed to go," the 26-year-old said.
"I gave absolutely everything last season but it was not enough to give us a top-four finish - now all I want is for Liverpool to honour our agreement."
Liverpool have rejected two bids from Arsenal - of £30million and £40,000,001 - for Suarez this summer.
Suarez understands the Gunners' unusual second bid of £1 over £40million triggered a release clause, but Liverpool believe they must only inform the player of an offer beyond that mark and negotiate if they wish to sell.
"I don't feel betrayed (by Liverpool) but the club promised me something a year ago just as I promised them that I would stay and try everything possible to get us into the Champions League," he said.
"They gave me their word a year ago and now I want them to honour that.
"And it is not just something verbal with the coach but something that is written in the contract. I'm not going to another club to hurt Liverpool."
Suarez, who joined Liverpool in a £22.8million deal from Ajax in January 2011 and has scored 51 goals in 96 appearances for the club, claims he is now ready to force the issue.
There had been reports that the player and his advisors were considering Premier League arbitration as a possible way to break the impasse over his situation.
"I have the club's word and we have the written contract and we are happy to take this to the Premier League for them to decide the case but I do not want it to come to that," said the South American, who has not travelled with the Reds squad to Norway for today's friendly against Valerenga due to a foot injury. "We have the backing of the PFA."
He added: "I spoke with (Liverpool manager) Brendan Rodgers several times and he told me, 'stay another season, and you have my word if we don't make it then I will personally make sure that you can leave'."
Belfast Telegraph Digital