Jurgen Klopp: Daniel Sturridge not assured of game time if he stays at Liverpool
England striker may leave for Inter but no more incoming players expected at Anfield
Daniel Sturridge: The England international has started five games this season and last appeared in the Champions League rout of Spartak on December 6th. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Liverpool sold Philippe Coutinho for £142m (€162m)to Barcelona this month but are not expected to make further signings before Wednesday’s deadline having bolstered their defence with the purchase of Virgil van Dijk for £75m. “I don’t think a lot will happen in the next few days,” Klopp said on Friday when asked about incomings, although there could be further departures with Internazionale keen on Sturridge and Lazar Markovic a target for Spartak Moscow.
Internazionale have offered Liverpool a loan fee and a financial package to cover Sturridge’s wages until the end of the season but the striker favours a move to Sevilla, who have not had a loan proposal accepted by the club.
Liverpool maintain the 28-year-old will either go to Italy or remain at Anfield but, as the stalemate continues, Klopp has told Sturridge his first-team prospects may not improve. The England international has started five games this season and last appeared in the Champions League rout of Spartak on December 6th.
“I have never in my life promised a player game time for the next few months – it is not possible,” the Liverpool manager said. “When Daniel is fit, training and 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. One of them was Roberto Firmino’s performances, then Dom Solanke’s development. And Daniel has been in and out of training [through injury]. In general more in than out of training but the time he was in he was a little unlucky with games. That was the situation, not more.”
Klopp was circumspect on the prospect of Sturridge leaving, as he was throughout the Coutinho deal, saying: “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. I would say wait a little bit.”
Liverpool remain interested in the France international Thomas Lemar, albeit not at Monaco’s £90m asking price, and Klopp said he was not looking for a particular signing in this window. “Our situation is always the same, we look all year, so 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 is we make a decision on is it for now or 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. But specific? No.”
Klopp said the Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, who has fallen behind Loris Karius in the pecking order, would play in the FA Cup tie against West Brom Saturday evening.