Jamie Carragher has revealed Daniel Sturridge pulled him aside to question him over comments made about his Liverpool future.
The Anfield legend travelled with Jurgen Klopp’s squad to Australia last month and played the first-half of the win over Sydney FC alongside Sturridge.
It came after Carragher suggested the England striker should leave the club this summer to get regular football.
The pair spent six months as teammates at Anfield in 2013, but speaking to the Liverpool Review podcast for Anfield Extra, Carragher told the Liverpool Echo that Sturridge had been keen to get something off his chest Down Under.
He revealed: “I’ve got a funny story about that, and I didn’t mind it actually – I was happy about it.
“As soon as I got on the plane, I could see Sturridge wasn’t his normal self with me. And he pulled me in Australia after the game, or at half time when we’d come off.
“He said ‘why did you say they should sell me?’.
“I said ‘ooh, fair enough!’ I thought ‘I’m not having you putting me on the back foot’ so I went straight back and said ‘well, what else can they do?!’
“He wasn’t too happy that I’d said that, but my point was that a player of his quality, you either play or you go. If I was him, I wouldn’t want to be on the bench, and from Klopp’s point of view there is nobody else on the bench he could get money for, if he needed say £20m or £25m.
“Listen, you could still keep him. If Daniel Sturridge is happy playing 25 games next season, you are not going to get many sub strikers with his quality.
“But to be honest I’d seen Slaven Bilic speak about him towards the end of the season, so I thought ‘oh, he’ll end up at a West Ham or somewhere’. But you see his quality, it’s difficult to go and buy a striker with that.”
Asked about the dangers of offering such opinions in public, and potential comebacks from players, Carragher added: “I was happy he said it. It’s fair enough; we give stick out, and plenty of praise too, so who are we to say that someone can’t have an opinion on us?
“He didn’t come across like a player who was looking to get out, I have to say that!
“I played with him. He’s always had that thing about him that he’s moody or difficult. I never saw it.
“He was quiet, but no different to a lot of other players. The big thing was getting him on the training pitch every day. It’s well-documented that he’s got to be 100 per cent and that he’s fearing his body is going to let him down.
“But as soon as you get him on the pitch, you can tell straight away. You can just tell with the way he controls the ball, the way he moves, you know you’ve signed a good player.
“When he first came, he could work the channels with his pace and power. I just don’t see him do that now. I remember in the final in Basel late on, he chased a ball in the corner and a defender just ran past him.
“He maybe can’t do it, or he’s looking after an injury. But what he can still do is be electric around the box. You think of Defoe, what he’s done the last three or four years. He doesn’t run everywhere but he’s still electric in the box, and that’s what Sturridge will still have; quick feet in the box, get a shot off quick, be sharp, he’ll always have that.”