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The Uruguay international has scored 22 goals already this season and his manager expects his outstanding form to trigger a summer of transfer speculation

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admits the form of Luis Suarez is likely to lead to a lengthy summer transfer saga.

The Uruguay international's future is already the subject of intense speculation as a result of the controversial striker's scintillating form for his club this season.

With Liverpool ninth and 12 points off a Champions League qualification berth, rumours have intensified in recent weeks, particularly given their 2-0 loss against Zenit St Petersburg in the first leg of a Europa League tie on Thursday.

Rodgers acknowledges that holding on to their 'outstanding' players is a priority as the end of the season rapidly approaches, but maintains Suarez is content on Merseyside despite the prospect of silverware being only a remote possibility.

"Even clubs that have won the league are faced with having to keep hold of their players. So there’s always going to be ­speculation about players here and we expect that to happen again," he told the Daily Mirror.

“I am a realist. We’ve got some outstanding players here who other clubs will show interest in. But I can only speak from my experience of working with the players here and I think they are all happy."

The 40-year-old manager has also spoken of his desire to strengthen the squad in the forthcoming transfer window, as he cites its current lack of depth as the reason for Liverpool's failure to compete for a Champions League spot.

"I talk to the owners on a weekly basis, we all know what improvements have to be made. The size of our squad has been a problem for us this season because we’ve had to compete on four fronts," he continued.

“I believe we are making progress, even though I know I was always going to be judged on whether we finish in the top four. That now looks unlikely, but I have got to be realistic. With the group of players we had at the start of the season, qualifying for the ­Champions League was always going to be difficult.”

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