Let's be honest here—Liverpool is unlikely to reach the Champions League this season. It's not going to happen. But it is the biggest goal for the Reds next year, and the team must improve over the summer to accomplish the feat, not lose key players.
That could be a challenge, as teams will surely be trying to pry star striker Luis Suarez. Still, Liverpool may have one advantage as the figures start rolling in—the smart move for Suarez would be to remain at Anfield, not chase the immediate allure of the Champions League next season.
And he'll have plenty of Champions League suitors courting him, including two of the biggest clubs in Germany and Italy. From John Edwards of the Daily Mail:
Bayern Munich are ready to play their trump card in a three-way battle to land Luis Suarez after it emerged that Pep Guardiola's brother is advising the Liverpool striker on his future.
Senior sources at Juventus confirmed their intention to join the bidding for £40million-rated Suarez, while Guardiola's old club Barcelona are also in the frame.
But Serie A leaders Juve have privately admitted Bayern are in pole position, due to Guardiola's brother Pere being Suarez's agent.
Look, you couldn't blame Suarez if he departed for either squad. Who wouldn't want to play for teams as talented as Juventus or Baynern Munich?
But I think Suarez is in a very good position at Liverpool. He's the perfect player atop Brendan Rodgers 4-3-3 attack, and I think the Reds are a player or two away from competing for the top four next season.
Will Suarez make as much of an offensive impact at Bayern or Juve? Probably not. Will the offense be completely built around him? Again, probably not. Will he be in a system that functions well when the striker takes on defenders in space rather than holds up play for the midfield?
I think you know the answer to that at this point.
I like the squad Liverpool is building. Suarez now has a legitimate partner in crime or backup at forward in Daniel Sturridge. Youngsters like Philippe Coutinho, Raheem Sterling and Fabio Borini. Steven Gerrard and Lucas Leiva give the team leadership and experience in the midfield.
Yes, the defense needs some bolstering, but this is a team with the foundation in place to compete for a top-four spot next year. Suarez is in fine form for Liverpool this season, with 29 goals in four assists in 40 total appearances for the team.
Luis Suarez will stay with Liverpool next season.
Why mess with a good thing, Luis? Why leave a system that perfectly fits your style on a team that is improving?
I think he'll end up staying, and I think it would be the wise decision. But when Juventus and Bayern Munich come calling, you never know what might happen.
Hit me up on Twitter—like Ray Hudson, my tweets are magisterial.