Sturridge quit claim is 'non-story', insists Klopp
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said it was "impossible to believe" Daniel Sturridge is planning to quit Anfield as he confirmed the striker's next comeback date.
Klopp is bewildered by suggestions Sturridge feels he has not had enough support from his club as they await his return from injury against West Ham next week.
A troubling day at Anfield was further complicated when it emerged Raheem Sterling's agent, Aidy Ward, had become actively involved in discussions surrounding Sturridge's future.
After the controversy over the handling of Sterling's Liverpool exit, there will be concerns at Anfield about the extent of Ward's relationship with Sturridge and fears a similar exit strategy has been set in motion for the England striker.
With an uncanny similarity to Sterling's complaints during his contract impasse a year ago, it was claimed Sturridge did not think the club were supporting him and was unhappy with the comments of former Liverpool stars. Many of those ex-players have expressed frustration at how little Sturridge has played over the past two years.
Sturridge trained with the squad as normal yesterday, the 26-year-old not yet offering a response to the exit reports.
Klopp said he had no cause to believe Sturridge wanted out. "It's not a situation. How can I know? I did not ask him, 'Do you think about it?' He did not come to me and say he is thinking about it," said Klopp.
"It's a story from somewhere. After a long, long break - from my understanding - it is not possible that anyone can think about this because nothing has been said.
"I'm not interested. It's a non-story and we make a story of it because someone has gone slap/bang. I spoke to him but not about this. I didn't ask, 'Do you want to leave?' Why should I? He is two days in training. I don't go there and say, 'Daniel do you want to leave?'"
Klopp has been bombarded with questions about Sturridge's fitness since his first game as Liverpool manager - always urged to respond rather than proactively speaking about the absent player - so he is aghast at accusation he has spoken out of turn on the subject.
"I answered a few questions at a time he was not fit because of the history," he said. "I was asked, 'Are you still waiting?' and things like this, but since I was here I had a normal relationship with Daniel Sturridge. The only problem is I have only had him 10 or 12 times on the training pitch. So now he is back we hope he can stay in team training and everything will be good. If everything is normal, from now on he is in the race.
"Daniel has been back in training two days and that is great so everything looks good. Now it is normal football training. The day before yesterday he was with Phil [Coutinho] and Divock [Origi] - you see these three players and you know what you have missed.
"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.
"What Daniel needs, what each player needs, is consistent training, training, training. That is normal to be fit for Premier League football. 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."
(© Daily Telegraph, London)