Rangers manager Ally McCoist has concurred with ex-boss Walter Smith's assessment that Nikica Jelavic is crucial to their title ambitions.
Gers hold a four-point lead over arch-rivals Celtic and Jelavic is the club's leading scoring in the SPL this season with 12 goals.
Jelavic has been linked with a January move to Liverpool, although Ibrox legend Smith believes his departure could cost the club another title success.
McCoist is eager to retain his first-team regulars, although he admits he cannot guarantee the Croatia international will be with the Light Blues come the end of the season.
"I think it's staring everybody in the face - if you want to win the league title, you need to keep your best players," commented McCoist.
"Walter is absolutely right. Nikica Jelavic is one of our better players.
"I think it's safe to say you want to keep as strong a squad as possible to make your challenge as effective as it can be.
"Nikica is no different from our other top players, we want to try to keep them all.
"What will happen, will happen. Let's be honest, Nikica is one of our top players. He is our top scorer and such a pivotal, important player in our team.
"Those are the facts. You wouldn't want to lose anybody like that."