Barnes said: “From a financial point of view, the Champions League is the holy grail, but the league shows you the best team in the country.
“Every team wants to be the best – and the best team wins the league. I would take winning the league every year and doing nothing in the Champions League.
“It is much more difficult to win the league. In the Champions League you can have luck and you can beat anyone on a given day, but in the league you can’t really do that. You can’t be lucky for 38 games.
“Liverpool are not that far away, but to make that extra step you need to improve by about 5 per cent. They need a striker who can get into the six-yard box and score lots of goals because they have virtually everything else.”