Liverpool Transfer News: Daniel Sturridge January Exit Amid Latest Rumours

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2017

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool scores his sides third goal during the UEFA Champions League group E match between Liverpool FC and NK Maribor at Anfield on November 1, 2017 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Liverpool forward Daniel Sturridge is reportedly open to a move abroad in January in search of more game time.

According to MailOnline's Simon Jones, Spanish outfits Real Betis and Valencia are interested in the England forward, and both are hoping he might be allowed to leave Anfield on loan in the new year.

Despite enjoying a relatively injury-free 2017-18 season so far, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has afforded Sturridge, 28, only five Premier League starts in the campaign.

He is firmly behind Roberto Firmino in the pecking order for the No. 9 role, while 20-year-old Dominic Solanke is also now providing competition in the strike department.

With the 2018 FIFA World Cup on the horizon, Sturridge needs to be playing regularly if he is to earn a spot in Gareth Southgate's Three Lions squad that will travel to Russia in the summer.

Firmino is currently part of a devastating Liverpool attacking unit that also includes Philippe Coutinho, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane.

Though none of the four are traditional centre-forwards like Sturridge, they have all proved to be prolific goalscorers at Liverpool.

In UEFA Champions League and Premier League action so far this term, the quartet have netted a combined 45 goals.

Sturridge is a natural finisher and has proved himself to be incredibly successful in front of goal in the past.

But loss of form and fitness struggles have led to a diminishing role for the former Chelsea and Manchester City man in recent seasons.

He has not reached double figures for goals in a Premier League campaign since 2013-14, and he has netted just five times in the English top flight since the start of the 2016-17 term.

The fact is he is no longer essential to Klopp's Liverpool side and arguably expendable.

As such, Sturridge may be allowed to leave in the January transfer window, and the Reds will likely be much more open to him joining a club overseas—like Valencia or Betis—than a direct Premier League rival.