Jurgen Klopp has refused to promise Daniel Sturridge regular game time if he remains with Liverpool beyond the ongoing transfer window.
The Reds forward has been linked with a move away from Anfield with Inter Milan said to be leading the chase, while La Liga outfit Sevilla are also monitoring his situation.
Sturridge is keen to play regularly after struggling for game time this season as he hopes to be considered by Gareth Southgate for his 23-man England squad for the World Cup in Russia this summer. But he is unlikely to play regularly with Roberto Firmino and Dominic Solanke ahead of him in the pecking order for the number nine role.
Apart from struggling for form, the England international has struggled with minor injuries during the course of the season. However, he has been fit in recent weeks and still been not considered for the selection. Klopp admitted that he could return to the squad for their FA Cup game against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday (27 January).
"I have never in my life promised a player game time for the next few months," Klopp said talking about Sturridge's chances of playing regularly in the second-half of the season, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.
"It is not possible. We have mentioned all the things like it was so far. When Daniel is fit, training, in shape, he is still an outstanding striker - there is no doubt about that. But he did not play the last few weeks for different reasons.
"Of course one of them was Roberto Firmino's performance and Dom Solanke's development. And Daniel being in and out of training. In general more in than out, but at times when he was in he was a little unlucky with the games," he added.
Sturridge is open to leaving Liverpool during the ongoing transfer window and the German coach refused to rule out a move suggesting that they could sanction it in the coming days with the deadline fast approaching – 23:00 GMT on 31 January.
Inter are hoping to sign the striker, but have been unable to agree to a fee with the Merseyside club for the striker, who earns around £120,000-a-week. Liverpool are said to value him at around £30m ($42.5m), which has been a stumbling block.
The Serie A side are said to be exploring a loan option and reports suggested that they had offered an enticing loan fee in order to complete the move. However, Firmino will be Klopp's only experienced number nine if Sturridge leaves, with only Solanke and Danny Ings available as back up and that is said to be one of the reasons holding up a potential move.
"No matter which direction you come, I cannot give an answer on that," the German coach added talking about the Sturridge's potential exit in January.
"It is an open thing. There are a lot of rumours around and at this moment there is nothing to say about it. When we have something to say about it we will say something, but so far we have needed him and we will see what happens in the next few days."
"If we make the decision in this direction or this direction then you will see if I thought we would be too short or not!" he explained.