Daniel Sturridge’s status at Liverpool will be reinforced when the England striker signs a lucrative long-term contract that will make him the second highest earner at Anfield, it has been claimed.
This is according to The Sun, who carry a report on Thursday stating that Sturridge will agree terms on a new deal next week that will see him earn £40 million over its five-year duration, with his weekly wage more than doubling.
Sturridge agreed a £65,000-per-week salary when he signed from Chelsea in the January transfer window of 2013, but his sensational form for Liverpool since then has earned him a significant pay increase.
The 25-year-old will now reportedly earn a basic £150,000-per-week, with only Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard paid more handsomely, with the veteran midfielder pocketing just over £170,000-per-week.
It is a significant display of faith in Sturridge from Liverpool, and cements his position as the club’s leading centre-forward following the summer departure of Luis Suarez, who joined Barcelona in a record deal for the Catalans.
Sturridge’s importance to Liverpool has been further highlighted since the injury he picked up on international duty, with the club having struggled desperately for goals since summer acquisition Mario Balotelli was tasked with leading the line.
Liverpool have scored only seven times in the six games they have played since Sturridge sustained his injury, with Balotelli netting only one of these, and they drew another blank away to Basel in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Brendan Rodgers’ side were well short of their free-flowing best of last season, as they have been for much of this campaign, and Sturridge can’t return to action soon enough for the Liverpool manager.
Sturridge, however, will not be able to transform the club’s fortunes on his own. Liverpool may have signed two strikers in the transfer window, with Rickie Lambert arriving before Balotelli, but further reinforcements are needed to support their main marksman.
Balotelli has not looked up to the task and has been the subject of severe criticism for his performances so far, while Lambert has not started a single game in the Premier League or Champions League.
Karim Benzema has been linked with a January transfer to the club, and the Frenchman could be the player required to pose a more significant threat. But, at the moment, that is some distance away, and Liverpool need results now.