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Benteke happy to stay at Liverpool but wants more game time

Football Soccer - Euro 2016 - Belgium News Conference - Girondins Bordeaux, Le Haillan, France - 8/6/16 - Belgium's Christian Benteke attends news conference. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau
Football Soccer - Euro 2016 - Belgium News Conference - Girondins Bordeaux, Le Haillan, France - 8/6/16 - Belgium's Christian Benteke attends news conference. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

(Reuters) - Christian Benteke wants to stay at Liverpool but is reluctant to commit his future to the Anfield club unless he gets more game time under manager Juergen Klopp.

The former Aston Villa striker scored nine league goals during a mixed first season at the Merseyside club but made 15 of his 29 Premier League appearances from the bench.

Benteke was signed by Klopp's predecessor, Brendan Rodgers, for 32.5 million pounds ($47.00 million) and under the German found himself behind Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi and Roberto Firmino in the pecking order.

"At 25 years old, I'm neither old nor young but it's important to play," Benteke told British media.

"I still have a contract at Liverpool and I'd like to stay there, if I remain in the coach's plans.

"If that's not the case, it will become difficult to stay. I'll think about it after the Euros. When he arrived I saw that I wasn't in his plans.

"That was frustrating ... But we had several discussions together, I respect and I understand his decisions."

Benteke was named in Belgium's 23-man squad for the European Championship in France, where they face Italy, Ireland and Sweden in the group stage.

($1 = 0.6914 pounds)

(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru, editing by Nick Mulvenney)

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