Jurgen Klopp is growing increasingly “frustrated” with Daniel Sturridge, with the German unable to “trust” the striker, according to journalist John Richardson.
Sturridge has not been fit enough to start a single Premier League game for Liverpool since Klopp took over in October, though the striker did serve a frustrating reminder of his ability with two goals in the Reds’ 6-1 Capital One Cup win at Southampton in December.
Sturridge is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury suffered just four days after that game, against Newcastle United, and Richardson claims Klopp has lost patience with the 26-year-old.
Asked what Liverpool will do with Sturridge, Richardson told Sunday Supplement on Sky Sports: “They sell him. He’s not going to do it. It’s up to Daniel Sturridge.
“We all know he’s a top player, but you talk to older players and they can’t understand what’s going on. He will not play through the pain barrier.
“I’m not knocking him because some people have a higher pain threshold. He obviously has a lower one, but at times he should push himself.
“He’s got a fantastic opportunity. He’s got the European Championships to aim at in the summer. At the moment, he’s not going to be there because he’s not playing enough games.
“At times you have to play, not when you are injured, but when you have a few aches and pains. That’s life as a footballer.
“He’s not prepared to do that and I know from within the club – and Jurgen Klopp is absolutely frustrated with it – that he will not be in Klopp’s plans next season. He can’t trust him.”
John Cross, however, has sympathy for Sturridge, adding: “You can see from everything Klopp says that he’s losing patience with Sturridge and I think it’s become an unworkable dynamic.
“If he’s injured, he’s injured. When you have a serious injury, when you come back there are going to be knock-on effects.
“He’s got a hamstring injury which is a knock-on effect of being out for so long. I have got some sympathy with the player.”