Rafa Benitez rumoured to hold interest in bold summer Newcastle move for Daniel Sturridge

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With Daniel Sturridge expected to leave Liverpool at the end of the season, Rafa Benitez could be planning to target him for Newcastle United.

The 27-year-old has found himself out of favour since Jurgen Klopp‘s arrival on Merseyside, and has started just nine games for the Reds so far in 2016/17.

This has not been helped by a series of troubling injuries, which have limited the striker to 21 appearances in all competitions.

His last outing in the Premier League came in the 2-0 loss away to Hull City on February 4, and Sturridge has played just 136 minutes of top-flight football since the turn of the year.

Liverpool are believed to have rejected advances from Paris Saint-Germain in January, but they are unlikely to stand in Sturridge’s way come the end of the season.

But whether he will be switching the Mersey for the Seine in the summer remains to be seen, with the Newcastle Chronicle claiming the striker could also be on Benitez’s radar.

They suggest that the Magpies will be looking to add to their attacking ranks if they achieve promotion from the Championship this season.

And while Burnley‘s Andre Gray and Bournemouth‘s Callum Wilson are listed as more likely targets, Sturridge is also named as a possible option for Benitez.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 27, 2016: Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge celebrates scoring the fourth goal against Stoke City during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It would not be difficult for Benitez to secure a meeting with the Reds in the summer, owing to the Spaniard’s history with the club.

But a move for Sturridge still seems fanciful, particularly given interest from PSG in the winter, though staying in the Premier League may be more appealing to the ex-Chelsea star.

Sturridge has not produced regularly since the 2013/14 campaign, when he scored 25 goals in 33 games, but his record is still exceptional when he is called upon.

The England international has struck 59 times in 113 appearances for the Reds since arriving at the start of 2013, and there is no denying his finishing ability.

What he seems to require is a change of scenery, and St James’ Park would certainly provide that.

Sturridge would be an immediate upgrade on the likes of Dwight Gayle and Aleksandar Mitrovic, though there is a major question mark looming over him in terms of his fitness.

Furthermore, it has been previously suggested he would be more content returning to London if he left Liverpool, with the striker saying last year that “all my friends live down south.”

Newcastle is about as far north as Sturridge could get without rejoining Brendan Rodgers at Celtic, but this could be one to keep an eye on as Benitez plots for a Premier League return.

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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