Liverpool defender Jose Enrique has hinted he may have to leave Anfield after being “alienated” by manager Brendan Rodgers.
The Spanish left-back joined the Merseysiders from Newcastle United in 2011 but has managed just 76 Premier League appearances due to a succession of injuries.
Liverpool signed Enrique’s fellow Spaniard Alberto Moreno last year in an attempt to strengthen the backline but he started Sunday’s opening Premier League game at Stoke City on the bench, with 17-year-old Joe Gomez – a summer arrival from Charlton Athletic – preferred.
While Enrique is determined to prove his worth to Rodgers, he concedes he would be willing to listen to offers from elsewhere.
He told Marca: “I am in a difficult position. Myself, [Mario] Balotelli and [Fabio] Borini have been alienated. I have a year left on my contract and I want to stay and fight as I always have but if a good opportunity came in with a longer contract and better chances to play I would study it.
“I will not give up. Football changes from day to day, I know from experience. I am fit after two years with knee discomfort and with only one left-sided defender [Moreno] I know that if I stay I’ll play. I want to prove that some people are wrong.”
Enrique believes he would struggle to find a club the size of Liverpool in his homeland and accepts the economic situation in Spain makes a move difficult.
“I don’t think I will play for a team better than this,” he added. “It is true we have not won the league for many years but we must not forget that we have five European Cup successes. I had a good option to return to Spain but it is complicated because the economy is very different to what exists here. I would love to stay here until my legs stop me.”
After coming close to winning the title in 2014, Liverpool slipped to sixth last term, prompting a summer spending spree which has seen the likes of Christian Benteke, Roberto Firmino, James Milner, Nathaniel Clyne and Gomez arrive at Anfield.
And Enrique admits UEFA Champions League qualification is a must for the Reds this term.
“This season we have no excuse not to enter the top four. We have spent a lot of money to bring good players in and I think we have a great squad. We have many options.”
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