Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge not promised playing time if he stays at Anfield, says Jurgen Klopp

Sturridge may bring his five-year stay at Anfield to an end this month as he searches for regular first-team football

Mark Critchley
Northern Football Correspondent
Friday 26 January 2018 20:29 GMT
Daniel Sturridge could leave Liverpool this month, with Inter and Sevilla interested
Daniel Sturridge could leave Liverpool this month, with Inter and Sevilla interested (Getty)

Jürgen Klopp has warned Daniel Sturridge that he cannot promise him playing time in the coming months if he decides to stay at Liverpool.

Sturridge's five-year spell at Anfield could come to an end this month as Sevilla and Internazionale vie for his signature, though a temporary loan move is understood to be more likely than a permanent departure.

The 28-year-old has struggled to earn regular minutes out on the pitch under Klopp this season and faces an uphill task to win a place in Gareth Southgate's England squad for this summer's World Cup in Russia.

Sturridge is willing to move abroad in order to secure regular first-team football and Klopp reminded the striker on Friday that if he remains at Liverpool beyond the 31 January deadline, there will be no guarantees that he plays.

“I have never in my life promised a player game time for the next few months,” Klopp said. “It is not possible. We have mentioned all the things like it was so far.

“When Daniel is fit, training in shape he is still an outstanding striker there is no doubt about that. But he did not play the last few weeks – for different reasons.

“Of course one of them was Roberto Firmino's performance, then Dom Solanke's development. And Daniel was in and out of training. In general more in than out in training, but the time he was in he was a little unlucky with games. That was the situation, not more.”

Klopp had little specific to add on whether Sturridge would be allowed to leave but did not rule out his departure this month.

“It is an open thing. There are a lot of rumours around and at this moment there is nothing to say about it,” he said.

“When we have something to say about it we will say something, but so far we needed him and we will see what happens in the next few days.

The Liverpool manager added: “Whatever I could say would only kill your stories or give you a story for one time. Write about it whatever you want or what you hear. I am not interested. I would say wait a little bit.”

Having broken the club's transfer record to sign £75m defender Virgil van Dijk at the start of the month, Klopp is unlikely to add to his squad again before next Wednesday's deadline, even after Philippe Coutinho's £142m switch to Barcelona.

The Liverpool manager has not stopped searching for potential targets, however.

“Our situation is always the same, we look all year,” he said. “Why should I stop now only because the 31st is here? We do that all the time, the only thing is with one or two players we make a decision - is it for now is it for the summer?

“That is the only difference. But look we are always constantly looking, my iPad is full of players from all over the world.”

This weekend sees Liverpool entertain West Bromwich Albion at Anfield in the FA Cup, a competition which offers Klopp his most realistic chance of silverware this season.

Klopp is yet to add to Anfield's trophy cabinet and did not progress past this stage of the competition in his first two years, with fourth-round eliminations coming at the hands of West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The Liverpool manager doubts whether success in the Cup would necessarily ease the pressure on him to return the club to former glories, but nevertheless believes that to win it would be “massive”.

“It's a chance, it's an opportunity, it's a big, big thing,” he said.

“Obviously, you make the decision if it's big enough or not. I think you told me Arsène Wenger has won it three times in the last four years. I knew that he had won it three times in the last four years but is it appreciated by the people around, by you, by the press?

“Maybe you can answer that question. You have to win it and if you win it, it's 'only the FA Cup', so it [the question] is not important.

Klopp added: “It's all what it means to us and our supporters. It would be massive but it's a long way to go.

“We are choosing a little more difficult way - our first round was Everton, our second round is West Brom, so we have to jump the big hurdles.”

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