Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists the door remains open for striker Daniel Sturridge to earn himself a long-term future at the club – despite doubts remaining over his future.
The England striker fell down the pecking order last season after injuries impacted on his availability and he has been linked with a move to the likes of Sevilla and Besiktas – though Sturridge’s valuation remains something of a problem.
But with Danny Ings linked with a £20million switch away this summer, the opportunity could be there for Sturridge to carve out an opening for himself once again.
The striker still has plenty to prove to Klopp, considering his fitness record, he is worthy of retention but the 28-year-old has looked one of the sharpest performers in pre-season – although even he could not break the deadlock in a goalless draw at League Two Bury.
“It’s funny, this is my third pre-season and every year we talk about the same things!” said the Reds boss.
“It’s no problem. I always said there is a future, it’s about what we do in the moment.
“At the moment it’s all good and we don’t have to make decisions. I don’t think about my players like this – like, maybe he’s in or out.
“With the young ones we make these decisions but not with the other guys. They show up, and it should be easy for me in the end.
“The window is still open, right? Is it closing tomorrow? Good.”
Sturridge has already opened up on his future this summer and conceded his time at Anfield could be up.
Saturday’s game saw Loris Karius, who made another error in Tuesday’s win at Tranmere, given an hour in goal with Danny Ward training at Melwood as he is likely to start at Blackburn on Thursday.
Harry Wilson, after an impressive start to pre-season, was not involved with the likelihood he will go out on loan to a Sky Bet Championship club in the near future with Stoke, Derby and Swansea all interested.
New signing Xherdan Shaqiri, who joined from Stoke for £13million on Friday, will be part of the squad for next week’s International Champions Cup in the United States.
There were first pre-season appearances for Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip with the Dutchman looking particularly composed in a 45-minute first-half run-out.
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