Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has insisted the door remains open at Anfield for striker Daniel Sturridge, despite ongoing doubts over his future at the club.
The 28-year-old England international struggled with injuries last season and fell down the pecking order, and has been linked with a move away to Sevilla and Besiktas this summer as a result.
Given his shaky past fitness record, Sturridge has a lot to still prove to Klopp ahead of the new Premier League season, but did no harms with a number of sharp-looking performances in pre-season so far.
Klopp said, speaking to Sky Sports.: “It’s funny, this is my third pre-season and every year we talk about the same things. It’s no problem. I always said there is a future, it’s about what we do in the moment.”
All indications from the German boss have suggested faith was still held in Sturridge to overcome his injury difficulties and push on to have a starring role next season.
He added: “At the moment it’s all good and we don’t have to make decisions. I don’t think about my players like this – like, maybe he’s in or out.
“With the young ones we make these decisions but not with the other guys. They show up, and it should be easy for me in the end.”
Liverpool’s latest pre-season game – a goalless draw with League Two side Bury – saw Loris Karius given an hour in goal, with Danny Ward training at Melwood as he is likely to start at Blackburn on Thursday.
Karius, who Liverpool had looked to replace earlier in the transfer window after his Champions League final mistakes last season, made another glaring error in Tuesday’s win at Tranmere.
Harry Wilson, after an impressive start to pre-season, was not involved against Bury, with the player looking set to go out on loan to a Sky Bet Championship club in the near future. Stoke, Derby and Swansea are all said to be interested.
New signing Xherdan Shaqiri, who joined in a £13m deal from relegated Stoke, is expected to join the Reds squad for the International Champions Cup in the United States next week.