Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has said that there is no agreement with Luis Suarez that would allow him to leave the club if they fail to qualify for the UEFA Champions League.
The Uruguayan striker said he was unhappy at Liverpool during the close season and the Merseyside club had to fend off interest from Premier League rivals Arsenal before persuading him to stay put.
He has rewarded them with some fine performances since completing a 10-game ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic, and moved to the top of the scoring charts with a sensational four-goal haul in Wednesday's 5-1 thrashing of Norwich City.
Liverpool's resolve to hold onto the controversy-prone striker would be sternly tested if they failed to qualify for next season's Champions League, but Rodgers says there is no pact that would allow him to leave the club in such circumstances.
"There never was that before and there never was that this summer," the Liverpool manager said, in comments reported by several British newspapers on Friday. "I didn't sit in on the conversations, but as I understand it there is no agreement of any kind.
"The contract was what it was. We want him to stay and with his contract running for two and a half years, I am sure there will be something between now and the end of the season to keep him here. There will be a number of dependencies on that, but the most important thing is that the player is happy."