Ligue 1 heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain are said to have enquired as to the availability of Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge in January.
The 27-year-old finds himself on the periphery this season, having made just five starts in the Premier League, and 21 appearances overall.
Dropping behind Roberto Firmino in the pecking order up front, Sturridge has also struggled with injury and illness, missing the Reds’ recent 3-1 defeat to Leicester City.
But while Sturridge is far from a key player under Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool were not willing to part ways with their No. 15 in January.
According to Goal’s Melissa Reddy, PSG were considering making a loan bid for Sturridge during the winter transfer window, but were told in no uncertain terms it would be unsuccessful.
However, they are expected to be among the clubs pursuing the striker in the summer, along with sides in MLS.
Sturridge is said to be set to “consider his options in search of guaranteed minutes to maximise the prime years of his career,” and it would not be a surprise if he pushed for the exit.
While his fitness concerns have hampered his progress at Anfield, he is a proven, top-level centre-forward with an exceptional record.
In his 113 appearances for Liverpool so far, he has scored 59 goals, with many coming during the unexpected title-challenging campaign under Brendan Rodgers in 2013/14.
Few supporters would begrudge Sturridge looking to leave Merseyside in the summer, given his quality and his diminished role following Klopp’s appointment in 2015.
But the hope will be that he does move abroad rather than to a Premier League rival such as Arsenal, as he could come back to haunt Liverpool if that was the case.
PSG are said to admire Sturridge as the perfect foil to current first-choice striker Edinson Cavani, who himself has scored 33 goals in 33 games so far this season.
While the likes of PSG, Monaco and Nice are making waves in 2016/17, it remains the case that there is less competition in Ligue 1, and Sturridge would no doubt shine if he moved to France.
There is still an opportunity for him to force his way back into Klopp’s plans this season, however, with 12 more games left to play and Firmino out of form of late.
Klopp’s other striker, Divock Origi, has flattered to deceive this term, too, so Sturridge could be due a recall in the coming weeks.
If he does, it would be foolish to bet against him making his mark on the Premier League once again.