Voronin bidding to stake Reds claim

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Ukrainian striker Andriy Voronin wants another chance to prove he has a future at Liverpool.

The 29-year-old is back in boss Rafael Benitez's squad after a year-long loan at Hertha Berlin and figured in Wednesday night's opening pre-season friendly against St Gallen.

Benitez said: "He did really well in Germany last season, scoring plenty of goals, and he has told me that he wants to stay at the club and fight for his position."

He added: "I have told him that will be difficult with Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard as our first-choice strikers. But he realises this and the players we have in the squad. But he also knows that this club always plays more than 60 games a season and that means there are opportunities. He will fight for his place."

Voronin signed for Liverpool on a free transfer from Bayer Leverkusen in 2007 but, after recovering from an ankle injury, was shipped out to Berlin a year ago.

He scored 11 goals in 21 league games for Berlin, who finished fourth in the Bundesliga, just missing out on Champions League qualification.

If Hertha had made it to the Champions League, they would have had the finances to pay a £6million fee for the Ukrainian.

Benitez would certainly be prepared to sell Voronin now to boost his transfer budget and another loan could be possible, but Voronin is at least being given the chance to show he can be a viable back-up striker.

Benitez said: "Voronin is doing well. Last pre-season he also did really well for us and then when he went on loan he had a very good season in Germany with Hertha Berlin. He has game intelligence, which is something we are always looking for.

"At this moment he is a Liverpool player. But it depends on him, he is continuing to work hard and is playing well so he will have a chance. It is good to have him back. When we signed him we were looking for a player who could play 'between the lines' as a second striker with quality."

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