Only Champions League football will keep Suarez at Liverpool - Gerrard

The Reds skipper believes the Uruguayan will stay at Anfield until the end of the current season but admits only a top-four finish could persuade him to remain beyond that
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard believes only Champions League football will keep Luis Suarez at Anfield beyond this season.

The Uruguayan had previously declared his intention to leave Merseyside but after failing to secure a move away from the club this summer, resigned himself to staying at the Reds until the end of the current campaign.

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However, Goal exclusively revealed on Tuesday that Real Madrid have made initial steps in an attempt to sign the in-form striker next summer - and Gerrard admits that Liverpool need to secure a top-four finish to keep Suarez at the club.

"January will be different because I think Luis is committed," Gerrard told ESPN.

"I think he is happy. I think he is pleased with the decision he has made to stay around. He is in good form. The team are playing well so I think January won’t be a problem.

"But come the summer, I think depending on how Liverpool have done will determine what goes through Luis’ mind."

At the same time, however, Gerrard believes the Uruguayan’s form will be the biggest factor in Liverpool’s push for Champions League qualification.

"Luis is the key," he said. "His goals, his performance and his form will be the key to whether we finish in the top four or not."

When asked whether Suarez is the most talented player he ever worked with, the 33-year-old replied: "Yeah, he's out on his own. I think the only player who comes close to producing what Luis produced in a red shirt is Fernando Torres.

"Fernando had a couple of years here where he was phenomenal but I think Luis has just pipped him for me."

The Liverpool and England skipper also explained his new role in Brendan Rodgers’ side since the pairing of Suarez and Daniel Sturridge at the head of a 3-5-2 system.

"I think when we've got both of them in the team, it's important that my game’s slightly more disciplined, slightly more defensive," Gerrard added.

"When you play with two centre forwards, I think it's important other players don't go gung ho and we're not taking huge risks in the team.

"I think it's important for the other players to protect the team so that those players can flourish."