Liverpool legend John Barnes insists top-four failure will not see big names leave Anfield
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Liverpool won’t lose their top players in the summer transfer window if they fail to finish in the top four of the Premier League, says Reds legend John Barnes. Jurgen Klopp’s side are in danger of missing out on Champions League qualification after their title defence unravelled.
The Reds’ poor form of late has given fresh impetus to speculation that stars like Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane could be tempted to leave.
Salah and Mane have both frequently been linked with interest from Real Madrid and Barcelona, although it appears the La Liga giants would struggle to be able to afford them amid the ongoing pandemic.
Gini Wijnaldum is another player on Barcelona’s radar, with his contract due to expire at the end of the season, while one report claimed he had already agreed to join Inter Milan.
But Barnes says Liverpool’s league position won’t be a determining factor in whether players leave – even if they do fail to finish in the top four.
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“I don’t think Liverpool have the type of players that would consider leaving just because they haven’t finished in the top four,” said the two-time title winner, speaking to BonusCodeBets.co.uk.
“If Liverpool do finish in the top four then some players might decide that they want another challenge, but I don’t think any of the Liverpool players would want to leave just because they don’t finish in the top four.”
Barnes said Reds fans don’t need to worry about their favourite players abandoning ship – because of the kind of personalities Klopp brings to the club.
“Jurgen Klopp doesn’t sign these types of characters,” said the 57-year-old former England winger.
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“He wants players to play for the club regardless of whether they are a top-four side.
“The nature of modern football means players come and go so some might leave Liverpool, but it won’t be because of where they finish in the league.”
Barnes reckons the debate is academic in any case – because he believes Klopp will guide his side back into the top four.
Liverpool host Chelsea on Thursday, and a win for either side would see them leapfrog West Ham into the Champions League places.
“I think Liverpool will finish second or third because Leicester and Manchester United are not nailed on to finish above them,” said Barnes.
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“Everyone is playing inconsistently this season so it is not the case that Liverpool vs Chelsea will determine who will pick up the fourth place and I would have both Liverpool and Chelsea to finish ahead of Leicester in the league.
“I think the top four will be Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United or Leicester.”
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