Jurgen Klopp has denied reports Daniel Sturridge wants to quit Liverpool this summer, insisting the player is back in training and focused on his Anfield future.
Reports in Friday morning’s papers suggested the England striker was growing increasingly unhappy with public criticism of his desire to play and was keen to quit the club and make a fresh start elsewhere.
There were also suggestions later that Sturridge fancied a move to Arsenal after revealing his admiration for the club as a boy, but when questioned about the striker’s future, Klopp told a press conference: “The Daniel story? Why should I think about that? Who has suggested that?
“Daniel is back in training so everything is great.
“He came back yesterday with (Philippe) Coutinho and (Divok) Origi. There’s nothing else to say.
“I’ve heard nothing.
“We’re now in the moment where hopefully we can get the benefit of this (Sturridge’s training) hard work.
“What Daniel needs, what each player needs, is consistent training, training, training – that is normal to be fit for Premier League football.
“Obviously there were a few problems in the past with a few injuries, not just since I was here, and that is part of the truth, but this is the past and it would be cool if we could leave it there and we can start from now on.
“We tried everything we could to bring him to this shape and now we are in the moment when hopefully we can get the benefit of this work.
Much of the criticism aimed at Sturridge has centred around Klopp’s line that the player needs to learn the “difference between pain and serious pain”.
But Klopp is keen to distance himself from that comment and continued: “It would be cool if we could leave it there and start from now on.”
Sturridge will not be available for the visit of Sunderland and neither will fellow striker Origi and playmaker Coutinho.
Klopp has always maintained he will be patient with players coming back after long spells out and he will apply that approach to this trio.
“Divock, Phil and Daniel are in training and you think after five minutes we should put them in the squad?” he added.
“That is the moment when you have to say ‘Come on, we have to have another three sessions which we can use and maybe be available for West Ham (the FA Cup fourth-round replay on Tuesday)’.”