CITY are still hopeful they will keep hold of promising striker Daniel Sturridge in the summer. The talented teenager made a brief substitute appearance against Arsenal on Saturday following injury and the Blues are ready to put together a 'take it or leave it' package thought to be in excess of £40,000 per week. Chelsea and Aston Villa are both awaiting the outcome of the youngster's last-ditch talks with the Blues hierarchy. Hughes has made it clear he would like Sturridge to stay but the 19-year-old is out of contract in the summer and free to talk to other clubs. City would receive compensation but it would be a fraction of his future worth.>>MEN.
Once again it appears that we have reached a stalemate regarding an extension to Daniel Sturridge's current deal which is increasingly close to expiring.
I'm not sure that threatening talk of 'final' or 'take it or leave it' offers are really the best approach to take in this situation though as surely that will only serve to alienate a player who, at the very least, is considering a future away from the club.
It would be a terrible shame if he were to leave, given that he does possess a wonderful talent, and for all that has been written about our adding a galaxy of world stars to block home grown players, it will be ultimately be money and not footballing reasons that result in his departure.
I know we have had a good degree of success in re-signing our Academy players to contract extensions this season but are we witnessing the first indications of problems further on with the scenario with Sturridge?
On the face of it, £40,000 per week is a very generous offer for a teenage player, who, whilst showing undeniable talent on occasion, has only featured in a handful of matches so can he really justify him being paid on par (or thereabouts) with the likes of Dunne, Richards, Ireland or Onouha for example?
Yet, could it also be argued that if Robinho can earn in excess of £150,000 per week, Bridge in the £100,000 range and so on, is £40,000 a reasonable figure in comparison? I have always thought, and still do, that Sturridge will re-sign but have to admit to having some doubts at present.
I do think he probably wants to remain at the club, but if another club is willing to pay what he believes he is worth, and we don't/won't match it, then for all the best will in the world he will not be playing for us come next season.