Southampton made ‘every effort’ to make Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge their marquee signing in this month’s transfer window, but their eagerness to sign what would have been an expensive loan deal blocked by the Anfield club.
Liverpool and Southampton have been involved in a host of high profile transfers in recent years, with Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Sadio Mane, Dejan Lovren and most recently Virgil van Dijk moving from the south coast club to Anfield.
It was during discussions over the £75m sale of Van Dijk last month that Southampton chiefs raised the prospect of a deal to sign Sturridge on loan, with a view to a permanent transfer next summer.
Saints officials could not commit to a huge long-term deal for Sturridge at a moment when their future is the Premier League is threatened, but they were eager to make the 28-year-old striker the new star of their team and were keen to secure a deal that would ensure he would make a permanent move to Southampton so long as they retained their top flight status.
READ MORE: Wenger confirms Aubameyang talks
READ MORE: Kenedy travels to Newcastle for medical
Yet Saints officials were surprised by Liverpool’s lavish £30m asking price for Sturridge, with injury problems in recent years not diluting the Anfield club’s ambitions to off-load a player who is believed to be among the highest earners on their payroll.
Southampton were willing to fund most of his wage demands and were given encouragement that he may be willing to take a small pay cut in a bid to get his career back on track and force his way into the England World Cup squad for this summer’s tournament in Russia, but a loan move was not on offer from Liverpool officials.
A huge transfer fee combined with wages in excess of £100,000-a-week proved to be too much for Southampton to finance, even after they signed off on a huge £75m from Liverpool for the sale of Van Dijk at the start of January.
Sturridge is now being heavily linked with a move to Serie A giants Inter Milan, with the lack of offers from English clubs primarily due to the huge transfer fee Liverpool want for a striker who has come to the conclusion that he is fighting a losing battle to get into Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Klopp has been keen to sidestep questions over Sturridge’s future, with his latest comments suggesting he is in no rush to sell one of his back-up strikers. “We have a long and decisive part of the season still to play,” he replied when asked about Sturridge’s future. “We need all the players so we will see how it will be.”
Sturridge could still be a big name departure from Liverpool in the next few days, but the price being demanded for a player who has started just 30 Premier League games in the last FOUR seasons may block any permanent transfer.