Burnley striker Ashley Barnes has joked that he has been given extra incentive to score against Manchester City due to a text message he received from Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.
The Clarets host Pep Guardiola’s side on Sunday as City look to go back atop the Premier League table, following Liverpool’s 5-0 thumping of Huddersfield on Friday.
Could Barnes earn shock move with City goal? Five key things to know…
- Man City travel to Turf Moor on Sunday looking to leapfrog Liverpool in the Premier League.
- The Reds went back top with a 5-0 win over Huddersfield on Friday.
- Barnes has already scored against Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs and Man Utd this season.
- The Burnley striker has revealed Klopp has jested that he could sign him for Liverpool if he scores against City.
- Barnes has two goals in five appearances against the Citizens.
But any kind of result for Burnley will scupper those hopes and hand the initiative back to Liverpool in what is the closest title race in recent memory and Barnes has revealed Klopp has been in touch to wish Sean Dyche’s side well.
“I’ve had a few messages yesterday from Liverpool fans making a joke of it but it’s all good,” the 29-year-old told the Burnley Express. “It would mean everything [to win against City].
“Klopp has even given me a sly text to say that if I score he might sign me for next season – so I might be on the move!
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“But look, for something so silly, it would be a massive thing if I was to score and we were to win. All of us would probably go down in Liverpool history if we helped them out.”
Liverpool currently sit two points ahead of City as they search for a first league title in 29 years, although their rivals’ Burnley clash is a game in hand.
Barnes’ knack against the elite
Known for his aerial threat, hard work and uncompromising approach, it comes as a surprise to many just how prolific Barnes has been against the Premier League’s top sides in recent seasons.
This season alone, the 29-year-old has netted against Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs and Man Utd, while he has also scored against Liverpool and City in the past.
And Barnes has admitted he “relishes” these high-profile games more than any other.
“These are the games I relish,” the striker added. “The ones I want to be playing in. As long as I train well and get selected I can’t do any more. I love playing against big teams especially.
“10 of my 31 goals in the Premier League have come against the big teams. It’s a great stat for me personally. I thrive in any game, you just try to hit the back of the net. Lucky for me a lot of my goals have come against big teams.
“You just want to show what you’re capable of and hopefully I have done that, shown how good I am.”