DIETMAR HAMANN admits Liverpool FC supporters could have no complaints should Luis Suarez seek pastures new at the end of the season.
Suarez has been in outstanding form this season, netting 22 goals in 37 appearances in all competitions with only Manchester United’s Robin van Persie having scored more than the striker’s total of 17 in the Premier League.
While the Uruguayan international last week expressed a desire to stay at Liverpool, he admitted any decision on his long-term future would only be made in the summer.
Steven Gerrard has previously hinted much may depend on Champions League qualification, with Brendan Rodgers’ side currently nine points adrift of the top four with 13 games remaining.
Suarez ignored interest from Serie A side Juventus to sign a new long-term contract with the Anfield outfit last season.
But former Liverpool favourite Hamann believes it may prove difficult for the 26-year-old to resist the lure of a title-challenging club in the summer.
“I’m sure there will have been offers for Suarez last summer, and I think Liverpool have done well to keep hold of him.
“But another year has since passed. Footballers have 10-12 years in the professional game if they are lucky, and they want to compete with the best for the biggest prizes.
“Liverpool are not in the big competitions and the reality is they probably won’t be next year either. Supporters have to understand that you can’t blame Suarez if he decides he wants to go at the end of the season.
“If a club comes in for him in the summer that can offer him Champions League football and the chance to win a domestic title, you can’t have a go at him if he decides to leave.
“Suarez has been excellent for Liverpool this season, he’s scored a lot of goals and he’s really dug the team out on occasions.”
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is a known admirer of Suarez while Hamann’s former club Bayern Munich, who will have Pep Guardiola as manager next season, are reported to be lining up a £40million bid in the summer.
“It depends how Guardiola wants to play his football, but Suarez would appear the type of mobile striker the Spaniard liked to use when he was at Barcelona,” adds Hamann.
“I’m sure he would fit into a Guardiola team but Bayern have already got some top strikers on their books at the moment.”
Meanwhile, Lucas Leiva believes he is finally edging back to full fitness as he prepares to celebrate a career landmark.
Lucas is poised to make his 200th Liverpool appearance when former Anfield assistant manager Steve Clarke brings West Bromwich Albion to face Rodgers’ men on Monday evening.
The Brazilian midfielder played successive 90 minutes last week in the 2-2 draws at Arsenal and Manchester City, and he said: “I think I am very close to where I want to be.
“It’s been a long journey for me but I have to be patient, keep calm and try to just keep working.”