Sturridge set for Chelsea exitComment on this story
Chelsea will look to offload Daniel Sturridge in January as the striker privately accepts that his time in west London is drawing to a close.
And Stamford Bridge chiefs will start the bidding for the forward at £15million in January.
Sturridge has fallen out of favour at Chelsea since Roberto Di Matteo replaced Andre Villas-Boas as manager in March.
The former Manchester City man has not started a Premier League game for the European champions this season, though he has been troubled by a hamstring injury.
And Di Matteo has given the all-clear for Sturridge to be sold at the turn of the year. That news has been welcomed by the player, who knows his long-term future lies away from Stamford Bridge.
Sturridge, who was treated for meningitis over the summer, has been deliberating his future since the end of last season after only playing a bit-part role during Chelsea’s run to Champions League and FA Cup success.
The club’s £60m spending spree on the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Victor Moses means competition in attacking areas is fierce and Sturridge — who has 20 months left on his current deal — is desperate to be playing regular first-team football.
The 23-year-old also wants to play as a central striker, something that does not look likely given that Fernando Torres is Di Matteo’s first-choice forward and Atletico Madrid goal-machine Radamel Falcao is a January target.
Sturridge is desperate to be part of England’s World Cup 2014 plans but knows he has to be playing regular Premier League football.
The Birmingham-born forward came close to leaving Stamford Bridge in August but a deadline-day switch to Liverpool fell through.
Anfield manager Brendan Rodgers was keen on a season-long loan deal but the player pulled out of the deal, insisting any move had to be permanent. Liverpool, who would give Sturridge a chance to play as a striker, remain keen but his £15m asking price is likely to be a stumbling block.
Tottenham boss Villas-Boas is also interested, having worked with Sturridge at Stamford Bridge. Arsenal and Manchester City are both admirers.
Sturridge hopes to be back in contention for a first-team spot for Chelsea’s weekend clash with Tottenham as he continues his recovery from injury. – Daily Mail