Thursday 27 October 2016

Besiktas cool interest in Liverpool strikers

Christian Benteke
Christian Benteke

Liverpool's hopes of selling Mario Balotelli or Christian Benteke to Besiktas seem to be fading.

The Turkish champions are on the lookout for a striker and had been linked with the Reds pair, who are peripheral to Jurgen Klopp's plans this season.

But chairman Fikret Orman distanced the club from the duo, suggesting Balotelli's temperament and Benteke's £32million asking price were sticking points.

"Benteke is a good player that we would want to see come to Besiktas but his he is valued at a very high price. It does not look like an easy deal," he told reporters.

"Balotelli is a major star but a troubled player. He has got an image. We are interested in other players as well. Ideally we want to sign a striker on loan."

Klopp, meanwhile, admits conclusions are hard to draw after an up-and-down weekend of friendlies.

Summer signing Sadio Mane starred in a morale-boosting 4-0 win over Barcelona on Saturday, before the Reds flew straight to Germany where they lost by the same scoreline to Mainz on Sunday.

Several players were involved in both matches, making for a highly unusual double-header, and Klopp does not intend to get carried away by either result.

Liverpool start the Premier League campaign at Arsenal on Sunday. "(After Barcelona) we could not stop smiling but that was not right, and if we cannot stop being disappointed (after Mainz) that's not right either," he said.

"The line-up was a compromise, changing players and we flew a few players in this morning. That's not optimum and not very good. But we always expect of ourselves that we have to do better and we should have done better.

"That's a very important lesson for us. If it's hard - and there will be some hard moments this season - we have to trust our style of play, our philosophy and all of the things we usually do. Of course, we should not lose 4-0 but it happened and we can work with it. We are in a good way, 100 per cent."

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