Reds open to the idea should a suitable offer be forthcoming…
A host of recent media reports, including in the Daily Mail on Thursday, claim Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has asked to leave Anfield.
The 28-year-old is understood to want a move in order to secure more playing time, particularly with a World Cup looming at the end of the season.
Since playing a key role in Liverpool’s 2013/14 title challenge, the England international has struggled to maintain a regular starting role due to a succession of injuries and the better suitability of other players to current manager Jürgen Klopp‘s high-intensity tactics.
The likes of Inter Milan, Stoke City, West Ham United and Southampton are rumoured to be interested but his desire for a departure, according to the Liverpool ECHO, in addition to the Mail, is complicated by the club’s hefty £30million price tag.
The Merseysiders are thought not to be interested in sanctioning a loan at this time and any interested party will also have to contend with Sturridge’s £150,000-a-week wages.
The player hasn’t featured for Liverpool since the 1-1 draw with Chelsea on November 25 due to a hamstring injury and illness, although he has returned to full training this past week and could be involved when the Reds face Manchester City on Sunday.
Sturridge has started just five competitive games in the current campaign and appeared off the bench a further nine times, registering three goals and three assists.
Since arriving at Anfield in January 2013 for £12million, the former City and Chelsea frontman has scored a total of 63 goals in 133 appearances.
The Birmingham born forward, who has 26 senior caps to his name, currently finds himself competing with Dominic Solanke and Danny Ings as back-up to first choice Reds forward Roberto Firmino.
Should he leave, Sturridge will become Liverpool’s second high-profile exit of the January Transfer Window following Philippe Coutinho’s British record transfer to Barcelona.
Midfielders Cameron Brannagan (permanent move to Oxford United), Ryan Kent (loan move to Bristol City) and Matty Virtue (loan move to Notts County) have also departed in recent days.
A parting of the ways has looked on the cards for a few windows now and there is an increasing feeling that it would suit all parties. Unlike before, when the striker would play if available, Sturridge can no longer command a regular starting berth even when fully fit and at this stage of his career, especially given such high wages, that’s not a sustainable situation. Although Liverpool aren’t exactly awash with strikers, and have already said goodbye to one of their longest-serving players this month, a January exit cannot be ruled out. Finding a club willing, and financially able, to take a gamble on a permanent deal looks unlikely though.
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