Former Liverpool star Graeme Souness believes the club must keep Luis Suarez if they want to qualify for the UEFA Champions League again.
The 26-year-old was prolific for Liverpool throughout the 2012-13 Premier League campaign, scoring 23 goals in 33 appearances.
His efforts in front of goal were not enough to lift Liverpool into the top four however – Brendan Rodgers' side eventually finished seventh in the table – and, although Suarez has expressed a desire to leave because of the English press, Souness says the Anfield outfit need to do everything they can to keep the want-away striker.
Liverpool have a proud Champions League history, having won the tournament five times, but have not been involved in the competition for the last two years - something Souness believes needs to change.
"It is upsetting for Liverpool supporters as this year he has been a star, his goals have been vital," Souness said on Sky Sports News.
"Going forward, they want to get themselves into the Champions League again and that would be doubly difficult if they did not have Luis Suarez.
"I find it a wee bit strange that he is complaining about the press because as (at) the end of the day he has got to look at himself, he has brought it on himself (with) what he has been involved in - but there is no getting away from it, he is a star and Liverpool have got to keep him."
Souness – who won the Champions League with Liverpool on three occasions – did admit it would be hard for Suarez to turn down interest from Real Madrid, if they enquired about his services.
But the Scotsman says Liverpool are in a "great position" to keep Suarez, with the forward, who is sure to be in demand, contracted to the club until 2016.
"For any Latin player, if Real Madrid come calling it is going to be a difficult one to say no (for him)," he said.
"It is like a Northern European, if Man United come knocking it is a difficult one to say no to - so it will be difficult for Suarez, it will be difficult for Liverpool and it will be an interesting scenario to see how it pans out.
"They are in a great position (though) as he signed a five-year deal last year and he is obviously a vital part of what they want to achieve going forward."
If Suarez does leave Merseyside, Liverpool could be looking at a transfer fee upwards of 40 million pounds, one which could significantly strengthen Rodgers' squad ahead of their new Premier League campaign.