Remember Daniel Sturridge? Liverpool goal machine, England hotshot, last surviving member of Anfield’s deadly SSS triumvirate with Messrs Suarez and Sterling? Ring any bells? No?
Ah well, it’s not your fault. He’s barely recognisable these days from the swaggering striker of yesteryear, and that’s not just because he spends most matchdays with half his face obscured by the collar of his puffy training coat as he watches from the stands.
An unused Reds substitute yet again at the weekend, dropped by England, given a 76 pace rating on FIFA 18, and for once he can’t even blame any of it on injuries. These are bleak times for the 28-year-old, and he has finally decided that something has to change. Specifically, his employer.
The Mirror reports that Sturridge has lost patience with his fringe status at Liverpool and is “ready to quit” the club in January to “save his World Cup dream”.
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The former Chelsea man was recently told by England manager Gareth Southgate that he will miss out on Russia 2018 unless he gets more game time, with the striker’s Anfield exit set to spark a “mid-season scramble” among clubs who have not yet lost faith in his finishing prowess, or his ability to stay fit.
Unspecified sources “close to the striker” (his mum?) hope the Reds will put a “realistic price tag” on his head. Alternatively, a loan move is a “possibility” with Paris Saint-Germain, of all teams, potentially keen.
Man City battle Liverpool for £60m Van Dijk
The Reds will also spend January reigniting their slightly naughty pursuit of Virgil van Dijk, says the Mirror. The Southampton centre-back apparently has his “heart set” on a move to Anfield, but the Merseysiders will face competition from a Manchester City side who have just lost John Stones to injury and would think nothing of splashing out £60m on a short-term replacement.
The Sun’s daily story about Danny Rose going to Manchester United today features the special detail that the left-back is “fuming” with Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino for leaving him out of his north London derby squad.
Manchester City could rival Liverpool for Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk (26) in the January transfer window. [Mirror] pic.twitter.com/KdZnwX5laR
— City Watch (@City_Watch) November 19, 2017
Rose apparently “swears” that he is 100 per cent fit but Pochettino “disagrees”. And this is definitely nothing to do with Rose being punished for telling the Sun he wants a bigger salary and had to Google Poch’s signings. Definitely not.
In Cristiano Ronaldo news, the Express claims that Cristiano Ronaldo “discussed his transfer plans” with Antoine Griezmann after both players had a stinker in this weekend’s Madrid derby.
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CR7 apparently “confided” in the Frenchman that he is “determined to leave” Real Madrid because he feels they are no longer capable of challenging for the biggest trophies. That’s something for Griezmann and his Atletico team-mates to have a laugh about this week then.
Elsewhere, Barcelona have tabled a bid for Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil and will offer the Gunners Andre Gomes in part-exchange (Star), Harry Kane has pledged to spend his “entire career” at Tottenham (Standard) and Lionel Messi has “blocked” Barcelona’s move for Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez (Star). The way Lionel sees it, why get Mahrez when you could push the boat out and get Andy King instead?