Arsenal and Liverpool’s hopes of signing Daniel Sturridge were dealt a blow last night when Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo insisted the forward was still in his plans.
Sturridge has struggled to break into the Chelsea first team since Di Matteo replaced the sacked Andre Villas-Boas, which lead to reports that he was free to leave if the right offer came in from suitors Arsene Wenger and Brendan Rodgers.
It now appears the former Manchester City player’s immediate future is at Stamford Bridge following his Italian manager’s comments.
“I get asked about speculation but I am very happy with him. He scored a goal and had a number of good chances,” he is quoted as saying in the Fulham & Hammersmith Chronicle.
“He's our striker and as far as I'm concerned he's part of this team.”
The 23-year-old was on target to give Chelsea the lead for the first time in their 5-4 win over Manchester United in the Capital One Cup fourth round clash on Wednesday night.
Sturridge was given the chance to start up front as Fernando Torres was rested, but was not having the best of evenings before young United centre-back Scott Wooton headed the ball into his path, giving the England international the opportunity to round Anders Lindegaard and score Chelsea’s fourth goal.
Liverpool and Arsenal, it appears, will have to look elsewhere if they are looking for attacking reinforcements.
Rodgers’ side are struggling up front with Luis Suarez the only recognised striker, while Wenger’s men have struggled for goals in the Premier League recently and Theo Walcott’s contract situation continues unresolved.