By Will Butcher
Southampton are interested in signing Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge in January on a loan-to-buy deal, according to a report.
The Daily Express claimed that Southampton have been monitoring Sturridge’s situation as manager Claude Puel looks to take the goalscoring weight off Charlie Austin’s shoulders.
The Saints are looking to complete a loan deal until the end of the season with a clause to complete a permanent transfer for £25million next summer.
Sturridge, 27, has scored six goals in 11 league and cup games this season but is still yet to find the net in the Premier League for the Merseyside giants.
Formerly of Manchester City and Chelsea, Sturridge has a superb goalscoring ratio at Anfield following his move to the Reds back in January 2013 for £12million.
Liverpool’s number 15 has scored 57 goals in 103 league and cup appearances, with only 79 of those being starts.
Klopp has opted to play Roberto Firmino as his centre-forward this season, and the Brazilian has formed a deadly partnership with Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane.
It has left Sturridge having to accept a cameo role in most matches, and the Saints will be hoping to re-enter the market with Liverpool once again, but this time to sign a player instead of selling one.
The striker still has three years left on his Anfield contract, which is set to expire in the summer of 2019.
Football Insider verdict:
This is a move that will benefit all parties. Sturridge is desperate for game time as he looks to maintain his place in the England side as well as prove to Klopp that he is worth a first-team place in the long-term at Liverpool. The move would suit Klopp, who will be free to play his preferred front three of Coutinho, Mane and Firmino, while Liverpool will also benefit as they may pocket more than double what they paid for Sturridge almost four years ago. Southampton will draw an advantage from the deal in that they are receiving one of the best finishers in the Premier League.
In other Liverpool transfer news, this report explains the chances of Steve Gerrard making a return to Anfield.