Liverpool have opened negotiations with Luis Suarez's agent over a new contract for the Uruguayan, according to a number of Wednesday's newspapers.
Reds managing director Ian Ayre flew to Barcelona to begin talks with Suarez's agent Pere Guardiola on Tuesday, with The Times (subscription required) reporting that Ayre has been given the green light to offer the forward a new contract worth in the region of £200,000 a week.
The Times reports:
Liverpool are preparing to make Luis Suarez the highest-paid player in the club’s history by offering the striker a new contract that would double his wages to about £200,000 a week.
Ian Ayre, the Liverpool managing director, arrived in Spain yesterday to begin negotiations with Pere Guardiola, Suarez’s agent. Ayre has been given the go-ahead by the club’s owner, Fenway Sports Group (FSG), to do everything in his power to try to persuade the Uruguay forward to stay. Suarez’s present deal has two-and-a-half years to run, but Liverpool are keen to reward him for his development into one of the most outstanding players in the world.
Suarez, who arrived at Anfield in January 2011, earns about £100,000 per week in a performance-related contract signed in August 2012. It is likely that Liverpool will need to double his salary if they want Suarez to consider extending his stay, particularly with Real Madrid’s continuing interest.
However, the main stumbling block over any new deal is likely to be an updated release clause, following the confusion surrounding Arsenal's £40 million plus £1 bid in the summer.
The Daily Express adds:
The main obstacle in sealing a contract extension will be the clause that triggered the unrest in the first place, with Suarez and long-term adviser Guardiola believing a bid of more than £40m would allow him to leave, hence Arsenal’s strategic offer of £40,000,001.
Their interpretation of the clause was proved to be inaccurate by Liverpool’s lawyers and the Professional Footballers’ Association and allowed owner John W Henry to make the stand to not sell the player.
Guardiola and Suarez will want a clause to be watertight in future in order to leave the door ajar for Real’s potential interest, while Liverpool would press for a figure that more accurately reflects the player’s market value.