Liverpool owner John Henry has confirmed Luis Suarez did have a £40m buy-out clause in his last contract, but the club decided they would hold on to the striker at all costs.
Arsenal triggered the clause during the summer transfer window but, having lost Fernando Torres to Chelsea in January 2011, the Reds were reluctant to sell.
Suarez made it clear in a series of interviews last summer that he wanted to leave Anfield, but Henry sees the player as a major part of the club’s future plans along with Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling.
"Luis Suarez is the top scorer in the English Premier League which is arguably the top soccer league in the world," Henry said.
"And he had a buy-out clause – I don’t know what degree I should go into this – but he had a buy-out clause of £40m. So Arsenal, one of our prime rivals this year, they offered £40m and one pound for him and triggered his buy-out clause.
"But what we’ve found over the years is that contracts don’t seem to mean a lot in England – actually not in England, in world football. It doesn’t matter how long a player’s contract is, he can decide he’s leaving.
"We sold Fernando Torres for £50m. We didn’t want to sell but we were forced to. For the first time (with Suarez) we took the position that we weren’t selling.
"Since apparently these contracts don’t seem to hold, we took the position we’re just not selling and it’s been great for Luis, it’s been great for us, and what will happen at the end of year, I think we’re going to make Champions League and we have a small chance of winning the Premier League this year.
"We have three gentlemen up front: Suarez, Sterling and Sturridge. Those three are young, and I think Luis and those three could be together for a long time."