Liverpool did not lose out to Chelsea in the race for Timo Werner, says John Barnes, with Jurgen Klopp merely opting against moving for a player that he would have landed had he wanted to.
Those at Anfield were considered to be leading the race for a highly sought-after Germany international.
Werner is, however, seemingly heading for Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea putting a £54 million (€60m/$68m) deal in place with RB Leipzig.
Questions have been asked of whether Liverpool will be left to rue their decision not to table an offer, as a Premier League rival stands to benefit, but Barnes believes Klopp has earned enough trust that any transfer call he makes will be fully supported.
The former Reds star told BonusCodeBets of the Werner saga: “We’ve seen over the last couple of years that we trust Jurgen Klopp.
“If Jurgen Klopp wanted him, he would have got him, he would have demanded that they paid the money if he felt it was worth it. If he doesn’t feel it’s worth it, whether it is money or whatever reason, then we don’t get him.
“So, I think that had Liverpool wanted him, he would have gone to Liverpool rather than Chelsea.
“I’m not saying that he’s not a good player, but Jurgen Klopp has taken a decision that he didn’t want him that badly in terms of the money that they were going to spend and we trust him. We’re not going to feel that we’ve lost out to Chelsea – we would not have lost out to Chelsea had Jurgen Klopp wanted him badly enough.”
The shrewd dealings carried out by Liverpool in recent windows mean it is difficult to pick holes in their squad and identify room for improvement.
Barnes concedes as much and is not overly concerned about the fact that a domestic foe has stolen in to complete a deal that will improve them as a collective.
The ex-England international added: “If the chasing pack catch Liverpool, how can Liverpool improve? They’ve lost one game, they just have to keep doing what they’re doing.
“If the pack catches them up, that means that the pack is improving, Liverpool cannot improve, so what can Liverpool do?
“They’ve lost one game all season, so next year what can they do to improve? It’s up to the others to improve, that’s what they will do, but Liverpool do not need to improve to get any better.
“What they can do is maintain the consistency and I feel that with what we have, we can maintain the consistency.
“If other teams get better, Liverpool can’t do anything about that, it’s all about taking care of themselves.”
Chelsea tables £54m for Werner