Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina admits it is currently impossible for them to compete with Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea and stressed things have to improve if they are to hold onto their star names.
Early-season struggles have left the Reds in ninth place in the league, prompting speculation about the futures of star names Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard and Reina himself.
"We have to finish this season in a better position than we are at the moment and make sure we build for the next years and try to be competitive," said the Spain international. "If not, it's going to be difficult for them to keep these kind of players."
He added: "We have to be sure that we deliver better performances otherwise it's going to be really, really, really difficult (to finish in the top four).
"We are not probably as strong as Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham can be so that's why we have to make sure we build a better squad.
"At the moment, it's almost impossible to compete for nine months against Chelsea, for example, and that is what I want.
"The clubs all around England are building proper squads. We have to do the same and we have to be able to compete."