KENWYNE JONES has hinted that he would jump at the chance to join Liverpool this summer.

Kop boss Rafa Benitez wants the Sunderland hitman at Anfield but his bungled loan bid during the transfer window was shot down by Black Cats manager Steve Bruce.

But Jones, 25, has not given up hope of a multi-million pound switch to Liverpool, who take on Romanian outfit Unirea Urziceni in the Europa League tonight.

The striker admitted: „If one of the world’s big clubs comes in for you, it’s understandable a player might have the desire to go to that next level.

„Until you sign a contract with a new club it’s all just talk. January was a crazy time and now I have to focus on the games ahead.

„The manager spoke to me. The reassuring speech came out to let me know the club still wanted me. That is always nice to hear.

„But sometimes a big situation like the transfer story can make it hard for the manager to say anything.

The Reds considered a move for Jones as their injuries piled up, with striker Fernando Torres the big-name absentee.

Without Torres’ goals, Liverpool have struggled – dropping out of the Champions League and falling way off the pace in the Premier League title race.

But captain Stevie Gerrard insisted Liverpool, who have also made early exits in the FA and Carling Cups, remain positive about their chances of silverware.

He said: „This season has been inconsistent and hasn’t gone to plan.

„But for me and the team, we’ve got one more trophy to lift.

„So we’ll be giving everything to go all the way. Anyone who underestimates the Europa League is not for me because I’ve lifted the UEFA Cup before.

„It’s a special trophy and 2001 was a superb final. Hopefully we can experience the same feeling this season.”

Gerrard believes the five-time European champions’ history means they always face a tough task against teams from the continent.

But he warned: „It’s very dangerous to bet against Liverpool, especially when our backs are to the wall.

„I’ve always found we have more problems against less well-known teams in Europe because of the surprise factor.

„To play us is a big game for Unirea and they’ll be looking for a big upset.

„But our manager will make sure the team is prepared. He does his homework and doesn’t leave any stone unturned.”

Benitez tuned into Wayne Rooney’s one-man destruction of AC Milan full of regret that Torres has spent half the season battling for fitness.

He admitted: „In every team, if you lose your top scorer for a lot of games it’ll cost you.

LIVERPOOL (likely line-up): Reina, Carragher, Kyrgiakos, Agger, Insua, Mascherano, Aquilani, Babel, Gerrard, Riera, Ngog.

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KENWYNE JONES has hinted that he would jump at the chance to join Liverpool this summer.

Kop boss Rafa Benitez wants the Sunderland hitman at Anfield but his bungled loan bid during the transfer window was shot down by Black Cats manager Steve Bruce.

But Jones, 25, has not given up hope of a multi-million pound switch to Liverpool, who take on Romanian outfit Unirea Urziceni in the Europa League tonight.

The striker admitted: „If one of the world’s big clubs comes in for you, it’s understandable a player might have the desire to go to that next level.

„Until you sign a contract with a new club it’s all just talk. January was a crazy time and now I have to focus on the games ahead.

„The manager spoke to me. The reassuring speech came out to let me know the club still wanted me. That is always nice to hear.

„But sometimes a big situation like the transfer story can make it hard for the manager to say anything.

The Reds considered a move for Jones as their injuries piled up, with striker Fernando Torres the big-name absentee.

Without Torres’ goals, Liverpool have struggled – dropping out of the Champions League and falling way off the pace in the Premier League title race.

But captain Stevie Gerrard insisted Liverpool, who have also made early exits in the FA and Carling Cups, remain positive about their chances of silverware.

He said: „This season has been inconsistent and hasn’t gone to plan.

„But for me and the team, we’ve got one more trophy to lift.

„So we’ll be giving everything to go all the way. Anyone who underestimates the Europa League is not for me because I’ve lifted the UEFA Cup before.

„It’s a special trophy and 2001 was a superb final. Hopefully we can experience the same feeling this season.”

Gerrard believes the five-time European champions’ history means they always face a tough task against teams from the continent.

But he warned: „It’s very dangerous to bet against Liverpool, especially when our backs are to the wall.

„I’ve always found we have more problems against less well-known teams in Europe because of the surprise factor.

„To play us is a big game for Unirea and they’ll be looking for a big upset.

„But our manager will make sure the team is prepared. He does his homework and doesn’t leave any stone unturned.”

Benitez tuned into Wayne Rooney’s one-man destruction of AC Milan full of regret that Torres has spent half the season battling for fitness.

He admitted: „In every team, if you lose your top scorer for a lot of games it’ll cost you.

LIVERPOOL (likely line-up): Reina, Carragher, Kyrgiakos, Agger, Insua, Mascherano, Aquilani, Babel, Gerrard, Riera, Ngog.

Read the article on The Sun

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