Christian Benteke
Christian Benteke is looking to depart Aston Villa this summer amid sustained interest from Liverpool and Tottenham Getty

Former Liverpool stalwart John Barnes claims the Reds will have to alter their style in the event that they complete a deal to sign Christian Benteke.

Despite manager Brendan Rodgers having already bolstered his squad significantly with the signings of six new players this summer, speculation continues to link the Aston Villa striker with a potential move to Anfield.

With Liverpool believed to be displaying a continued reluctance to meet Benteke's substantial £32.5m ($50.1m) release clause, the latest reports courtesy of The Telegraph suggest he will reiterate his desire to leave Villa Park during a meeting with Tim Sherwood due to be held tomorrow (8 July).

While any possible agreement for the player to join Liverpool would appear dependent on Villa displaying a willingness to negotiate with regards to the fee, Barnes believes the Belgium international's arrival would force Rodgers to change his methods and deploy a direct style more suited to the striker's personal strengths.

He told Talksport: "Liverpool will have to adapt the way they play to suit Christian Benteke. When they play with Raheem Sterling, and Philippe Coutinho, they pass the ball through midfield and always want to score the perfect goal.

"With Benteke, you get the ball wide and then in the box, you need to be a little bit more direct. If he comes, it will need a sweeping change in the way Liverpool play. Would that be a bad thing? Not necessarily, balance is important.

"At times Liverpool overplayed, which really came off two years ago but didn't last season. He would cause people a lot of problems."

Despite securing the services of Danny Ings in June following the end of his contract at Burnley, enticing highly rated Brazilian Roberto Firmino from Hoffenheim and welcoming Divock Origi to Merseyside on a permanent basis, Liverpool are evidently still in need of a focal point up front that has been sorely lacking since Luis Suarez's lucrative move to Barcelona in July 2014.

Tottenham have also been credited with a sustained interest in Benteke as they seek to provide greater support and competition for Harry Kane, although Rodgers will no doubt have been encouraged by the London Evening Standard's recent claims that the 24-year-old is not eager to move to White Hart Lane due partly to his apparent unhappiness at the way events unfolded when the same club tried to sign him two summers ago.