Liverpool should be braced for Luis Suarez attempting to leave Anfield regardless of whether the Uruguayan striker signs a new contract, according to club legend John Barnes.
Managing director Ian Ayre has reportedly flown into Barcelona to begin negotiations with representative Pere Guardiola regarding a new deal for Suarez, who was subject to interest from Arsenal and Real Madrid in the summer.
Suarez has staged a stunning about-turn in his status at Liverpool. After being banned for ten matches for biting Branislav Ivanovic and demanding to leave in the transfer window, the 26-year-old has returned with 17 goals in 11 league games and was handed the captain's armband for the win at Tottenham Hotspur.
Liverpool are looking to move quickly to sure up Suarez's future at the club, and at the very least increase his market value ahead of additional interest in his services next summer.
Reasons behind Suarez's desire to leave Liverpool have ranged from his discontent with the British media to wanting to play regular Champions League football and Barnes says the Merseysiders should be prepared for another summer of controversy whether or not he pens a new deal.
"Regardless of whether he gets a new contract for another five years or has another two and a half years to go at the end of the season, I don't think the very fact he has signed a new contact will make him stay," said Barnes.
"He has to want to stay. I want him to stay at Liverpool because he is a fantastic player and he will help Liverpool, but only if he wants to be here.
"He has to be committed to the club. As much as he is playing well now, I don't think it will be good for the club long-term because every time there is a transfer window it is going to rear its head. If he signs a new contract, he has to just say 'I'm staying for the next five years'.
"At end of the season before he goes to the World Cup it has to be decided 100 per cent whether he is going to stay or go.
"We cannot have a situation whereby he comes back from the World Cup and there are still rumours he wants to leave."