That's according to Italian outlet Per Sempre Napoli (h/t talkSPORT), who reported the Partenopei are planning for life without Higuain as he is attracting interest from Arsenal, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain, and Sturridge is being considered as a possible candidate to replace him in Naples.
The England striker is certainly one of the few players prolific enough to step into the Argentinian's shoes, having netted an impressive 47 goals in just 79 appearances for Liverpool.
Sturridge is an excellent all-round centre-forward, capable of creating for his team-mates—he also has 16 assists for the Reds—and threatening teams with his pace and willingness to run at opponents.
Football writer Jack Lusby believes the 26-year-old is in the highest echelon of players in world football:
Sturridge is absolutely world class.— Jack Lusby (@jacklusby_) February 14, 2016
However, there remains a big question mark over him due to his well-documented injury problems. Lusby is exasperated with his repeated absences, while Football Focus' Dan Walker gives an insight into just how unreliable Sturridge is in terms of being available to play:
Find Daniel Sturridge's continued absence bizarre. How can he train one day, then not the next, with such frequency? #LFC— Jack Lusby (@jacklusby_) January 29, 2016
Daniel Sturridge has been unavailable for 54.8% of Liverpool's games in the last 3 seasons #Injury— Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) February 6, 2016
Should Liverpool keep Sturridge?
Indeed, while the former Chelsea man could score a comparable number of goals to Higuain if he stayed fit for an entire season—or reach the benchmark of 20 at the very least—that's a big if, and one that could dissuade suitors from gambling on his signature.
Per BBC Sport, Sturridge is determined to make a success of his career at Anfield and is hoping to remain with the club, and he dismissed reports linking him with a move away in the summer:
I think it is astonishing, disappointing—whoever is saying it—but that's football.
I am very ambitious, very determined to help Liverpool have success.
I don't think anyone will understand how much it means to me to play football and I'll continue to do my best and focus on Liverpool.
It's important to worry about the present. It has been a difficult time being injured but it is part of football and now I'm looking forward to the future, of course with Liverpool.
He's key to the Reds' fortunes, and Liverpool will most likely aim to keep him at the club beyond this season.
Should Napoli come in with a large bid, it may tempt Liverpool to cash in on him given his injury-prone nature—and the fact they paid just £12 million leaves room for a healthy profit if they move him on—but chances are the Partenopei will need to look elsewhere if Higuain does make a move.