It may only be March, but that does not mean it is too early for transfer silly season to begin - especially when moneybags Paris Saint-Germain are involved.
With the Parisians potentially saying a fond farewell to both Edinson Cavani and Zlatan Ibrahimovic over the summer, it seems that they have already started sounding out potential replacements. The first of many to be linked is Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge, with reports from the Daily Mail suggesting that the oil-rich French club are prepared to pay a whopping £50 million to secure his services.
Even just an initial glance at that figure will raise a few eyebrows - is Sturridge worth even nearly that much? Possibly. The fact remains that he is a brilliant forward.
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In 2013/14, he matched the magnificent Luis Suarez step-for-step until the following season when his injury problems returned. Many will argue that it was the Uruguayan that helped Sturridge to look better than he actually is during the title charge, but he has proved time and time again that when he is actually fit, he is lethal.
Each time he returns from his latest setback he returns to scoring form, he just needs to stay off the treatment table. And keeping him fit is something that PSG clearly believe that they can do; they would not be willing to shell out such a huge sum on a player who will play less than 20 times a season.
So the big question for Liverpool is do they cash in on one of their best players? When he is available for selection he is their star man, one of maybe two or three players in the side perhaps capable of propelling the Reds back towards the top of the Premier League and into European competition.
At a glance, it makes sense to let Sturridge leave for such a large sum of money. But the fear will always be that Sturridge will leave Liverpool, leave his injury worries behind him and go on to bang in 30 goals a season for PSG. This isn’t entirely out of the question. But given his fitness problems over the last two years, it would still seem foolish to keep the player at Anfield in the face of such a significant offer.
Given his heroics performed in tandem with Luis Suarez two years ago, it would be understandable for some fans to want him to remain with the club. If he could recapture these heights then Liverpool would be a Premier League force one again. But the fact remains that the close-run title loss to Manchester City may have been Sturridge’s high point at Anfield. Right now it seems unlikely that he will ever have a season like that again with the Reds.
It seems almost inevitable that his injury concerns will rear their ugly head if he remains with Liverpool. To exacerbate the situation, Jurgen Klopp voiced concerns over the player’s ability tell the difference between “serious pain and what is only pain” earlier in the season. This was an early sign that Sturridge’s time on Merseyside might not extend beyond the summer. To add to this, when commenting on the Jordan Henderson transfer situation, Klopp announced that no Liverpool player is unsellable.
“Everything is OK in this moment but nobody in the world, maybe only (Lionel) Messi, is unsellable,” he said, as quoted by the Daily Mail.
“If a player - let's not say Hendo but any player - comes to me and says he doesn't feel comfortable and wants to leave, style of play, more money, then you always have to start thinking. That's all I can say on this.”
And if PSG are willing to take a risk on a quality, but seemingly frail player, then Liverpool should let them - especially to the song of £50 million big ones. Reds fans have been long-awaiting the summer, one in which Klopp will finally get to build his own side.
He will already be given significant funds to work with, but another £50 million from the sale of Sturridge would really give the German the freedom to create a team in his own image.
Liverpool may have the memories of the fantastic title chase with Manchester City while the SAS partnership tore apart defences left, right and centre. But maybe now is the time to finally accept that Sturridge will never be able to recapture those exalted heights in at Anfield.
With Klopp looking to usher in his own era, it may make sense to cut ties with the forward and look ahead to the future. £50 million would not be a bad parting gift.