Liverpool will not be looking to offload Christian Benteke in the off-season, according to Anfield legend John Barnes.
Benteke, a £32.5million signing by Brendan Rodgers in July last year, has found it difficult to make his mark on Merseyside, scoring just eight goals in 35 appearances for the club.
The Belgium international has struggled to impress Jurgen Klopp, who replaced Rodgers in November, failing to make a start in the Premier League since January 2.
However, Barnes does not think Liverpool will look to sell the 25-year-old, with Benteke’s substantial salary a stumbling block for any potential buyers.
“I don’t think Benteke’s going to be leaving the club at all,” Barnes, speaking as brand ambassador for titanbet.co.uk, told Omnisport. “Is someone going to give us money to pay his salary?”
He added: “The problem that football fans have is that when we talk about players leaving clubs or getting rid of players, first of all you have to say do they want to go? Because players don’t have to leave if they don’t want to.
“And whether you can get better players, there’s no point players leaving if you’re not going to get better players.
“So when they talk about Benteke leaving I don’t think he’ll necessarily leave. As to whether he’s going to start or someone’s going to come in ahead of him, that may be a possibility, but I don’t think he’s necessarily going to leave the club.”
While Benteke was not Klopp’s signing, Barnes believes the German manager can ultimately get the best out of the former Aston Villa striker.
“With Benteke, you have to find a solution to get the best out of him, in terms of us helping him but also he has to fit into what they want,” Barnes, who spent a decade at Liverpool, said.
“Obviously Benteke wasn’t signed by Klopp, so we don’t know whether he likes him and whether he wants to play that type of football, but I think all the players have got on well with him.
“He’s given everyone an opportunity, he handles the players who don’t play well, because his thing is that the team is the most important thing regardless of names, unless you’re [Lionel] Messi or [Cristiano] Ronaldo who are going to be in the team no matter what.
“There’s no player that’s guaranteed a place, but it’s also handled in the right way.”