Liverpool will reportedly turn down approaches for Daniel Sturridge this summer due to their difficulty to find an adequate replacement.
The 27-year-old finds himself on the periphery on Merseyside, having made 27 appearances last season with only 11 of those as a starter.
He still scored seven goals and laid on three more, however, and has spent his summer following specialist fitness regime in Los Angeles, in a bid to avoid regular hip problems.
Sturridge is clearly still a valuable asset to Jurgen Klopp, and reports on Saturday night claim this will see Liverpool refuse offers for the striker this summer.
According to the Mirror, only a “mammoth offer” would prompt the Reds to sell their No. 15, as Klopp would still need to replace him.
“The German believes that any money received for Sturridge would be dwarfed by the amount it would cost to bring in another forward of similar quality,” writes Neil Moxley.
Moxley claims that there has been “masses of interest” in the England international, though he only names previous suitors West Ham and Paris Saint-Germain as possible destinations.
This is a fairly obvious line to report, given Sturridge’s top-level quality when fit, as it would be hard to find a similar calibre of striker for a reasonable fee.
Sturridge still boasts a goalscoring rate of one every other game in a Liverpool shirt, despite struggling with myriad fitness problems since joining from Chelsea in 2012.
His best output for a single campaign remains his 25 goals and nine assists in 33 appearances in 2013/14, when the Reds came close to winning the Premier League.
But he has been reduced to a bit-part role since Klopp’s appointment in 2015, with Roberto Firmino taking his place as first choice.
He remains Liverpool’s best finisher, however, and still averaged a goal every 170 minutes in all competitions last term, maintaining his high standards even when battling injury.
To find a similarly able striker in the current market would require a sizeable fee, and as Sturridge still has two years left on his contract, Klopp may be wise to hold onto him.
If Sturridge’s fitness work in the United States pays off, his quality could aid the Reds on their return to European competition.
And if he still fails to find a rhythm, he will still offer a strong option as and when he is available.