LIVERPOOL – Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher does not believe it is a foregone conclusion that striker Luis Suarez will leave this summer.
The Uruguay international has made numerous public pronouncements since the end of the season, suggesting a move to Real Madrid interests him and claiming his mistreatment at the hands of the British media has driven him to look elsewhere.
Liverpool have not yet heard from the player or his agent about his intentions and no approach has been made by the Spanish side.
Suarez is still on international duty at the Confederations Cup, where he has a third-place play-off against Italy on Sunday, but once the tournament has finished it is anticipated there will be some movement in regards to his situation.
And despite all the indications pointing towards an exit for the 26-year-old, Carragher, who retired at the end of last season, remains hopeful his former club can hang onto a player who scored 30 goals last season.
"I think he might stay. Some big clubs will be interested in him because he is such a top player and that is something we have to accept," he told ITV.
"We can't complain about that, we bought him off Ajax.
"He signed a contract last summer and he has a few years left and hopefully we can keep him,
"He is very important. He was probably the best player in the Premier League last season and you want to be keeping your best players, which is what he is."
Former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler hopes changes at three of England's top four clubs this summer give the Reds a chance of making up some ground.
Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea have all replaced their managers and Fowler believes that may help Brendan Rodgers, who begins his second season in charge having made significant progress in the transfer window already with four signings.
"At the start of every season, we always have aims and ambitions to get into the top four and get as high up the table as we can," he told liverpoolfc.com.
"We didn't do it last season, but you could see the progression was slowly getting there - we were getting better all the time.
"For this season, there have been a few more players added to the squad, so I think the consistency will be a little bit better.
"The likes of Manchester United and Chelsea have got new managers now, so hopefully it will be a bit of a sticking point for them.
"But in terms of Brendan Rodgers and the squad we're putting together, I think we can certainly challenge for that top four."