Gerrard aiming for top four

Steven Gerrard has warned that Liverpool will continue to struggle to attract high-quality players if they fail to qualify for the Champions League.

Last Updated: 02/08/13 at 15:29 Post Comment

Steven Gerrard: Champions League football "a must" for Liverpool

Steven Gerrard: Champions League football "a must" for Liverpool

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Striker Luis Suarez is keen to leave Anfield to play in Europe's top club competition, while the Reds also failed with a bid for Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Gerrard is doing his best to persuade Suarez to stay at Liverpool, but he concedes the situation will continue to arise if they fail to secure a top-four finish.

"I think the only person who knows what's happening is Luis himself," said the England captain. "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.

"While I've still got a couple of years left - and maybe a few more who knows - I have to make the most of it. And that is about adding more medals to what I already have and to leave this club in the Champions League. That is the challenge for me personally.

"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.

"But I think the club's history and size - we've just been on a tour which has seen us play in front of nearly a quarter of a million people in 10 days - means the pull is still here.

"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.

"Players who come and get the club back into the Champions League will experience some of the biggest nights of their career, because playing European football in front of this crowd is different to any other."

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nd yet... Jermain Defoe is still going to pronounce himself gobsmacked when he learns he hasn't made the England squad for the Euro qualifiers.

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