Steven Gerrard believes Liverpool's season depends on keeping hold of Luis Suarez - and says a move to Arsenal "doesn't make sense at all".
Suarez still appears keen to leave Anfield, although he has stopped short of submitting a transfer request or seeking legal recourse.
Arsenal have had two bids rejected for the Uruguay international striker, the last one of £40million plus £1 which they believed would trigger a sale clause.
Liverpool have always maintained they merely had to inform the player of offers of that magnitude and have been steadfast in stating Suarez is not for sale.
Anfield captain Gerrard certainly does not want to see the 26-year-old forward leave - particularly to a club he sees as a direct rival in the race for Champions League football.
He said: "It's difficult every season to finish in the top four positions because of the power the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United have got at the moment.
"The likes of us, Tottenham and Arsenal are fighting to sneak into the other place that's available.
"Where we sit actually right now, it all depends on what decision Luis Suarez makes in the next few weeks. If we lose him then the challenge becomes even more difficult. It's that simple.
"If he goes to Arsenal, it obviously makes our season that little bit more difficult.
"It strengthens them an awful lot and they are our rivals for a top-four position. From the club's point of view it doesn't make sense at all, no matter how much money is put on the table."
Although Gerrard does not like the idea of Suarez leaving for north London, the midfielder would accept his team-mate leaving for Spain.
The 33-year-old continued in The Independent: "If he was to go abroad to a Madrid or Barcelona I would totally understand it. He's a South American. He's good enough to play in either of those teams.
"From a family point of view, it's where they all want to be. Javier Mascherano, Xabi Alonso, some of the top players I've played with - their dream was to play for Real or Barcelona.
"If I was him I would wait for one of those two clubs because I think he's good enough to play for them."
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Gerrard emphasised Liverpool's need to invest rather than sell.
"This club needs to make one or two big signings if we are to compete for the top four - and keep Suarez," he continued.
"Alongside Gareth Bale, Luis is the third best player in the world after Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Luis and Bale are the two hottest properties out there at the moment.
"When you're in that position, you're going to get all kinds of teams wanting to pull you away, especially when you are at a club not in the Champions League.
"It's nothing to do with the British media [criticising Suarez]. Knowing the guy as I do that's probably the thing on his mind: wanting to be in the Champions League.''