Liverpool stand little chance of signing Kalidou Koulibaly or Dayot Upamecano in the January transfer window and should steer clear of centre-half additions altogether, says John Barnes.
The Reds have been exploring their options when it comes to bolstering numbers at the back.
With Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all spending time on the treatment table, Jurgen Klopp has found himself down to the bare bones.
Fabinho, Rhys Williams, Nat Phillips and Jordan Henderson have all filled in at times, but a more proven performer was expected to be sought at the next opportunity.
Various targets have been mooted for the Premier League champions, but none of them will come cheap.
Barnes cannot see Napoli allowing Koulibaly to move on, despite incessant links to teams in England, while RB Leipzig will want Upamecano to be involved in their ongoing Champions League campaign.
With there few other players out there that could tick all of the boxes for Klopp, the Liverpool boss has been urged to resist the urge to spend for the sake of it.
Reds legend Barnes told BonusCodeBets: “If they can get better than what they have, yes [they should buy another centre-back]. But if they can't get better, there's no point in buying for the sake of buying.
“The majority of centre-backs you would want are normally playing at top teams in the Champions League and may not be available.
“So, it's not a question of looking to buy anybody, because he [Klopp] has faith in the youngsters that he's played.
“If they can get somebody who they feel will improve them, that is obviously a priority, but not just for the sake of it.
“Koulibaly – he's not coming. It would be great if we could have him, but it depends on who you can get.
“RB Leipzig are still in the Champions League and will be playing against Liverpool so [Upamecano] is not going to come. It would be great to have him, or Koulibaly and other players, but you have to be realistic about who you can actually get.
“I don’t know anybody out there who is going to be a stopgap – and realistically isn’t going to be a great player. So, Klopp will have to have faith in the squad.”
It has been suggested that Liverpool could join the clamour for David Alaba as his contract continues to tick down at Bayern Munich, but the versatile Austrian has plenty of other suitors and the Reds may struggle to position themselves at the front of that queue.