By Harvey Byrne
Jurgen Klopp has stated that he will not let players leave on the cheap this summer.
The Liverpool Echo claimed on Thursday that the Reds were reluctant to allow Christian Benteke to leave on a loan this summer after Merseyside rivals Everton were reportedly interested in the Belgian striker.
Liverpool are looking to recoup as much of the £32.5million they paid Aston Villa last summer for the attacker, and the Echo report that Klopp’s team do not want to negotiate a temporary move as the manager wants to bring in extra cash to strengthen other areas of his squad.
The German manager has on Friday reiterated these claims and talked about Benteke specifically.
“If there are clubs that want a real striker from us, they have to make real offers and not hope for anything else. We’ll find solutions,” said Klopp to the Liverpool Echo.
“If somebody wants a player from us then he has to pay because we only have good players. There are no presents.
“Christian is still a great striker. But we have a few more strikers at this moment and it makes more sense to give them match time.
“Some clubs try to gamble but we are not part of gambling. We are serious people. If there is a serious offer we will think about it. That’s how it always is.”
Benteke has four years remaining on his Anfield contract, after signing from Aston Villa last summer, but made just 14 Premier League starts last season.
The 26-time Belgium international has dropped down the striker pecking order, with Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi, Danny Ings and even playmaker Roberto Firmino all considered ahead of him in the battle for the spearhead role.
Benteke has not featured once for Klopp this summer and appears keen to leave, with Crystal Palace coming close to signing Liverpool’s number 9 last month.
The London club could not agree a deal as the Merseysiders held out for their £30million-plus asking price.
The striker scored 42 goals in 89 appearances during his time at Villa, but that form dipped after his big-money move to Anfield, which saw him net on nine occasions in 29 games in all competitions for the club.
In other Liverpool transfer news, midfielder Cameron Brannagan will join Wigan this weekend on a season-long loan.