Steven Gerrard has demanded that Liverpool sign at least three world-class players over the summer, amid speculation that coach Gerard Houllier is in on the verge of being sacked.

Gerrard hinted that he may leavethe club if theyir ammbitions do not match his own.

“If I come back (from Euro 2004) and there are only one or two new faces here then I don’t think that will be good enough,” said Gerrard.

“The next two or three months are going to be very interesting.”

“Things are going to change and there’ll be some money available to invest in the team,” he said.

“That’s nice to know because we need three or four signings to freshen things up on the playing side.

“There’s no doubt the squad needs strengthening if we are to get back up among the top three because they are operating on another level to us at the moment.”

Meanwhile, speculation is growing that Houllier may be sacked in the next week. Significantly, the board has refused to back their beleaguered coach despite the fact that Houllier has sought assurances about his position.

According to reports, Houllier has seven days to convince the board that he should remain in charge at Anfield. A board meeting is scheduled for next Thursday at which, Houllier is expected to set out his plans for the forthcoming season.

Unless, he can convince the club hierarchy that he transform the club into title contenders, then his dismissal will become a formality.