Liverpool fans who may be getting excited about the widespread speculation linking Daniel Sturridge to Anfield will be disappointed to hear that it is actually Spurs who are leading the chase for his signature.
The 22 year old, who scored 13 goals last term and was often Chelsea’s most dependable attacking threat, has become increasingly marginalised at the Bridge since Roberto Di Matteo took the helm and is frustrated at the club’s reluctance to extend his contract that currently runs out in 2014.
With the expensive recruitment of Eden Hazard further blocking his path to a first team spot and Chelsea looking to strengthen their forward options more before the season starts the England international’s days in south west London look numbered and bids in the region of £15m have discreetly been encouraged.
Whilst Liverpool are indeed interested the Cutter understands from a prominent source that it is Spurs who have thus far been the most proactive in their pursuit and what is more they hold several aces up their sleeve one of which is fast becoming the most open secret in football.
Firstly the pacy striker-turned-winger is settled in the capital and doesn’t wish to return north anytime soon; Sturridge enjoys the London lifestyle and since things have turned sour at Chelsea has been hoping for genuine interest from either Tottenham or Arsenal above all others.
Secondly, the Rodger’s Revolution at Anfield is viewed as a risky proposition that could flourish or implode whereas Spurs have by far the better recent track record at optimising the potential of their signings with higher league finishes as proof. Indeed it is precisely this onus on development that has resulted in them targeting the youngster despite Spurs currently being managerless. Chairman Daniel Levy and his board long ago implemented a transfer policy based on age and potential rather than buying purely established talent and the explosive Sturridge – who was once courted by Barcelona when he was just 15 – fits the criteria perfectly.
The open secret is of course the expected arrival of Andre Villas-Boas into the White Hart Lane dug-out and even if the Portuguese gaffer hasn’t already been sounded out about the potential purchase he would surely be delighted to be reunited with his brief former prodigy.
It was Villas-Boas who showed enormous faith in Sturridge during his ill-fated spell at Chelsea – often selecting him ahead of the misfiring Torres – and last October directly compared the striker to Porto’s £100m man Hulk.