Liverpool’s Champions League hopes rest on Suarez staying, says Gerrard

The 33-year-old says the team’s ambition of a top-four finish will turn on whether the Uruguay international leaves but accepts that the Reds are “not the same club” any more

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard admits that the club’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League rest on whether or not Luis Suarez remains at Anfield.

The Reds’ top goalscorer is subject to interest from rivals Arsenal, with Goal revealing that the North London club had tabled a bid of £42 million in July.

“I think the only person who knows what’s happening is Luis himself,” Gerrard told reporters. “He has a huge decision to make and, as his team-mate, I have to show him respect and give him space to make whatever decision he wants to make.

“But I think everyone knows how highly I rate him and how much I want him to stay – and what we can achieve this season basically depends on whether he stays or goes, I believe.”

Liverpool have not qualified for the Champions League since finishing league runners-up to Manchester United in 2008-09 and Gerrard admits that the Reds need to be back in the competition if they are to attract the best players.

“It is not the same club I joined because we are not in the Champions League, so it becomes an awful lot more difficult to attract the top players,” he observed.

“We need to break back into the top four to get back the pull we had four or five years ago when we were comfortably in the Champions League year in, year out, and challenging to win it.”

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