Contract row may be error in drafting

Frank Dalleres
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IMPRECISE drafting may be the innocent explanation behind wrangling over Luis Suarez’s contract, a leading sport lawyer told City A.M. last night.

The player’s camp are thought to believe that a bid in excess of £40m, such as that made by Arsenal, entitles him to hold talks with suitors with a view to a possible transfer.

Liverpool are understood to hold that such an offer only requires them to inform Suarez of the interest, and have insisted the figure does not trigger an automatic sale.

Graham Shear, head of sport at Berwin Leighton Paisner, said: “It requires some very specific drafting. It is quite difficult so you have to make terms quite simple and quite definite.”

Despite differing stances, Liverpool look set to allow Suarez to speak to Arsenal, though they maintain they want more than £50m for him. Shear believes this too could be a source of contention.

“I think it is entirely possible that they [Suarez’s camp] may have confused permission to speak with an agreement to sell,” he added.

“How will it play out? It’s very difficult to get a player to play for you if his head has been turned, to use football terminology.

“In my view, it is a question of money. There’s a number at which Liverpool will be willing to sell, and it’s a question of whether Arsenal are willing to buy at the same figure.”