A report has claimed that Liverpool forward Daniel Sturridge could face a lengthy ban from football, after his cousin allegedly bet £10k that the player would move to Intern in January - a deal that eventually collapsed.
The 29-year-old has enjoyed something of a renaissance with the Reds this season, making 11 appearances across all competitions and scoring three goals. However, with a host of attacking stars at manager Jürgen Klopp's disposal, the former Chelsea man was loaned out to West Bromwich Albion last season, but had his campaign ended prematurely with a hamstring injury.
Sturridge's comeback now looks set to end abruptly, after the FA charged him with misconduct in relation to betting regulations last week.
Amid speculation over the exact nature of the bet or bets that have put under Sturridge under investigation, a report from the Sun claims to have further details on the alleged incident.
A source allegedly informed the paper that the forward's cousin bet £10k - with potential returns of £27k - on a Sturridge moving to Inter in January, with the family bet now a cornerstone of the FA’s investigation into whether the player broke strict betting rules.
While this bet clearly backfired, the report claims that a feud between family members over the funding of the losing stake tipped off bookies Paddy Power to suspicious activity.
The Sun quote a 'betting industry source' as saying: “Daniel Sturridge’s family is very much caught up in this probe. It seems some of them got to know of his transfer plans in January.
“A cousin placed a lot of money on a bet that he would move from Liverpool to Inter Milan.
“It seems he thought another relative was sharing the cost of the stake with him, so when Sturridge pulled out of a move to Inter Milan at the last moment, it is alleged that not everyone got the message.
“After it fell through, he needed to get proof to show another relative that he had spent £10,000 at the bookies on placing the bet.
“It sparked a flurry of frantic communications between the family member and Paddy Power over email. He wanted an email to prove he had placed the bet for £10,000. Obviously that alerted bookies to what had gone on.”
Meanwhile, the report claims another bet was placed by a Sturridge family member on the striker moving from Liverpool to West Brom, which provided a payout of a ‘significant sum of money’.
Under FA rules, players can't be involved in way with football betting, and are forbidden from influencing betters with their inside knowledge. While the investigation continues, Sturridge will still be allowed to play for Liverpool, but is it unknown whether Klopp will continue to select the player or decide to drop him while the situation's outcome remains uncertain.