Daniel Sturridge's hopes of going to the World Cup with England this summer look to be hanging by a thread, with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp set to keep him around for the rest of the season as backup for his formidable attacking line.
Sturridge had hoped to be getting away from Merseyside on loan to get some regular playing time in order to force his way into Gareth Southgate's squad for the summer's tournament, but the Mirror report that the club would prefer to send Danny Ings out on loan and keep Sturridge around until the end of the season.
Got a weird feeling that we may never see Sturridge play for LFC again... mysterious “injury” came after Solanke was subbed on before him in a recent game. Hasn’t been seen since.— LFC Podcasting Couch (@PodcastingCouch) December 19, 2017
One of my favourite players on and off the pitch. Shame how his game has seemingly faded ☹️
The former Chelsea man has just 18 months left on his current contract at Anfield, meaning that the Reds are likely to sell him on the cheap in the summer, but the newspaper report that there's no sign of a cut-price deal in sight in January - the club demanding £30m to change their minds and sell up early.
28-year-old Sturridge has started five Premier League games this season, coming off the bench a handful of times to pick up two top flight goals in big wins over Huddersfield and Arsenal - and bagging a Champions League goal off the bench in last month's comfortable 3-0 win over Maribor.
Any January interest in Sturridge looks likely to come from Valencia and Real Betis, while West Ham have been linked with a move for the decisive forward over the last few transfer windows - although it's not clear how much money David Moyes will have to spend in January.