Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez [Reuters] Reuters

Liverpool owner John Henry has admitted the Reds' star striker Luis Suarez had a £40m buyout clause in his previous contract last summer.

The Uruguayan international publicly expressed his desire to leave the Merseyside club before the start of the current campaign. Arsenal's Arsene Wenger was keen on signing the striker and made multiple bids for the former Ajax man.

However, Liverpool were reluctant in letting Suarez leave Anfield as the Gunners' multiple approach was turned down by the Reds. The 27-year-old committed his future to the club by signing a new long-term contract in December.

"Luis Suarez is the top scorer in the English Premier League which is arguably the top soccer league in the world. And he had a buyout clause - I don't know what degree I should go into this - but he had a buy-out clause of £40million - more than 60 million (US) dollars," Henry explained.

"So Arsenal, one of our prime rivals this year ... They offered £40million and one pound for him and triggered his buyout 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 £50million. 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," he said.

Suarez has been in impressive form for Brendan Rodgers' side this season and is the league's top scorer with 24 goals from 23 games. Liverpool are second in the table with 59 points from 28 games, trailing league leaders Chelsea by four points.

Henry is delighted with Suarez's performance this season. He believes Liverpool have a slim chance of winning the Premier League in May.

"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," Henry concluded.