Robin van Persie continues to make Arsenal officials sweat with indecision about his future, which puts the Gunners in a tough spot as the transfer window begins to heat up.
Matt Law of the Daily Mirror reports Sturridge wasn't happy about his playing time under Roberto Di Matteo. And with Chelsea targeting several other attacking options since the season ended, it appears his path to the lineup has been blocked off.
Arsenal are one of several Premier League sides to show interest in the 22-year-old rising star, according to the report. He scored 13 goals across all competitions last season, but has battled inconsistent play throughout his young career.
If Van Persie ultimately ends up leaving the Emirates, it's going to take more than one player to replace him. He basically carried the Gunners to a Champions League spot with his dynamic play and it will be incredibly difficult to fill the void.
Sturridge would play a key role in making sure the offense doesn't suffer a major drop-off. He features tremendous pace and has already shown a lot of poise in the box for somebody still in the early stages of their career.
Outside of Van Persie, nobody on the Arsenal roster scored more than eight goals in league play last season. So even if the team manages to convince its biggest star to sign a new deal, adding more depth takes pressure off him.
Given his upside, Sturridge would have no problem filling that role.
Wherever he lands, he'll be on a mission to prove he deserves a full-time spot in the starting lineup, which should lead to the breakout season people have been expecting.
The report states Sturridge might be part of a package Chelsea will offer for Gunners midfielder Theo Walcott. Like Sturridge, the talented Englishman has shown plenty of potential, but hasn't fully lived up to the hype quite yet.
Where will Sturridge play next season?
It seems like a change of scenery would do wonders for both players and should allow their respective careers to finally take over. It's not often two teams that will both be battling for spots near the top of the table make good transfer partners, but this could be a rare exception.
Even though the Van Persie situation remains unresolved, Arsene Wenger has done a nice job to this point of making sure he improves the team for next season. Lukas Podolski, who has been impressive in Euro 2012 play, will be joining the team and Olivier Giroud is reportedly close to following him.
If the Gunners can also complete a deal for Sturridge, they will have added three key pieces to the attack. That's exactly the type of wheeling and dealing Wenger needs to cover himself in case Van Persie walks out the door.
Arsenal and Sturridge are a perfect match. As always, it will all come down to money, but the striker isn't going to find a better combination of playing time and a chance to win than the Gunners will provide.