​Former Liverpool winger John Barnes has expressed his belief that the 'best players in the world' are likely to join Manchester United or Chelsea over Liverpool, and admitted that Daniel Sturridge could stay an Anfield into next season despite rumours of a summer exit. 

Speaking to ​IB Times UK, he said: "I think he's got a contract, so, unless someone comes in and makes a bid that Liverpool accept and are obviously going to pay him the salary that he wants, he will remain at Anfield. When people talk about players leaving clubs, first of all you need somebody to buy them and you need somebody to match their wages. If that doesn't happen, players stay at clubs.

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"If that doesn't happen, and, with his injury record, clubs may not come in for him, it's a question of... If Daniel Sturridge is fit, of course he's going to be in Liverpool's team. Fit and motivated. If Daniel Sturridge is injured, obviously this is when the question marks come up against him and about his future at Liverpool. But as I said, unless somebody is willing to pay the salary that Daniel Sturridge is on and pay the transfer fee, he will be at Liverpool next year."

Manager Jurgen Klopp was questioned over his decision to make no additions in the January transfer window, and the topic of incoming players has been a prevalent debate in recent weeks. Barnes has admitted that Europe's elite players are currently out of the question, but has backed Klopp to make the right choices in future transfer windows.

"In terms of the best players in the world, if they are coming to England, they are going to go to Chelsea, they're going to go to Manchester United. They are going to go to these clubs before Liverpool. The advantage we have is that we trust Jurgen Klopp enough to make the decision to buy some players in Germany or wherever that he knows can do what he wants.

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"If you are talking to me about the obvious players who I would like to see coming, there is no point mentioning them because they are not coming to Liverpool.

"We are unique in that. Unless it's going to be a £40m or £50m signing that everybody knows is a world-class player, the Arsenal fans will be disappointed. The Chelsea fans will be disappointed. Liverpool fans trust Jurgen Klopp enough to know that he may sign a player we've never heard of, but we trust him enough to get the best out of that player."

On the lack of activity in January, he added: "You could end up spending £60m in January and not improving. I've never felt January was a time to sign. I know that Jurgen Klopp would sign players who he believes can improve the squad, but don't just sign players for the sake of it."