Liverpool and Tottenham have received encouragement in their pursuit of Fiorentina's Serbian international Adem Ljajic. The Italian club's manager, Vincenzo Montella, has revealed he is disappointed with his star player's attitude following the start of transfer speculation and may look to bench him this weekend, when the club plays Catania in a league tie.
"I'm fed up with this situation. Adem has felt he has a point to prove ever since the second half of last season, but it's also true that his colleagues and fans have stuck by him. He has received his coach's backing, too," Montella told Gazzetta dello Sport.
"I don't have the time or desire to keep waiting, especially because the lad is not happy. So from my point of view, a coach's point of view, I'm going to do things my way," the former AS Roma striker added.
The 21-year-old attacking midfielder had an impressive 2012/13 Serie A campaign, scoring 11 and creating eight goals from 28 league games. That kind of form saw interest from the Premier League clubs and Fiorentina's domestic rivals, AC Milan, as well as Turkish champions Galatasaray.
Ljajic is reportedly unwilling to sign an extension to his contract, which expires in 2014.
"I don't know what the fans will think but it's fair that everyone feels how they want to feel. That goes for both fans and the players. Boos and whistles do not have the power to influence clubs, or players," Montella concluded.
Meanwhile, Brendan Rodgers has hailed young England striker Daniel Sturridge as one of the top players in the Premier League. The former Chelsea youngster has scored the match-winning goal in both of the Reds' league games so far this season and is proving to be a key asset as Rodgers continues without the suspended Luis Suarez.
"Daniel is a player that has proved that, when fit, he is one of the top strikers in the division. He has all the attributes, super quick, wonderful touch, great movement. He just needed an opportunity. He's really grown into the club since he's come in January and his goal record is terrific so far," the Northern Irishman explained.