Liverpool legend Barnes: American owners must back Benitez in market

Barnes said: “I’m sure if those players are available, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal will also be after them.

“Whether they come to Liverpool or not I don’t know, but that’s the type of quality they should be looking for, who can come and go straight into the team and not just be a squad player.

“There is not a single important area. You are not going to buy one player and close a 21-point gap, you need more quality in the team in every department, particularly up front.

“I think they need a striker, another defender and a creative midfield player. As for who that is going to be, there is a lot if talk about David Villa, but I’m not sure if financially they can compete.

“It will be interesting, but I’m hopeful for next year because Rafa has done well with what he has and hopefully he can improve the squad and they can get even better.”