Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has admitted that star striker Luis Suarez could leave in the summer if the club fails to qualify for the Champions League.
Suarez pushed relentlessly for a transfer in the summer, with Arsenal having two bids rejected by the Reds hierarchy – the second of £40m plus £1 infuriating officials at Anfield – before eventually convincing Suarez to remain with the Merseyside outfit.
Suarez later apologised for his actions, and has been in tremendous form since his reinstatement into the starting line-up following his 10-math suspension.
Liverpool saw a brilliant start to the season suffer a disappointing setback last weekend in their 2-0 defeat to the Gunners, and Gerrard has stressed that this season’s outcome will determine whether or not the Uruguayan remains a team-mate of his come next season.
“Luis is in good form,” Gerrard told www.espnfc.com. “The team are playing well, so January won't be a problem.
“But come the summer, I think depending how Liverpool have done will determine what goes through Luis's mind.
“His goals, his performances and his form will be the key to whether we finish in the top four.”
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers had feared that he would be without the striker for this weekend’s Premier League encounter with Fulham, with Uruguay’s World Cup play-off first-leg against Jordan taking place on Wednesday.
Under Fifa rules, the Uruguayan Football Association can call-up the 26-year-old five days in advance to aid their preparations for the match, but both Suarez and Liverpool have reached an agreement with the national side that will see him fly out via a private jet immediately after Saturday’s match to meet up with the rest of his Uruguayan team-mates in Istanbul.
Suarez will remain with the team for the second-leg which takes place in Montevideo on Wednesday November 20, with the Merseyside derby taking place just three days later – meaning Suarez will have to complete his 7,000 mile round trip in just 11 days if he is to be in contention.