Southampton have emerged as frontrunners to sign Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge on loan after completing a world record deal for Virgil van Dijk the other way. Competition is rife for attacking places in Gareth Southgate's England squad and Sturridge feels that he needs regular football to give himself the best chance of being selected for the World Cup.

The Telegraph reports that Southampton feel that a loan deal would be the best way going forward for the club despite him not forming part of the negotiations in their deal for the Dutch defender.

His appearances this season have been limited by persistent injury problems but, even when fully fit and available, the emergence of Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane has left him unlikely to start.

Jurgen Klopp is inclined to offer him more game time, but given the barrage of games week in week out and the competition for a top four spot, he has been unable to do so on a regular basis.

The 28-year-old has 18 months left on his Liverpool contract, which is potentially worth as much as £150,000 ($200,000) per week. Summer signing Dominic Solanke has also moved ahead of Sturridge in the Anfield pecking order in recent weeks while the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has also seen more game time than the England international.

Meanwhile, Klopp has insisted that he understands the frustrations of Sturridge but believes he will get the requisite time in what is a gruelling festive period.

The Reds were held to a 3-3 draw by Arsenal, having gone two goals up in the first place but made easy work of Swansea City in their next game, thumping them 5-0 at home.

"The situation with the player is OK. I can imagine a player with his quality is not happy that he is not starting all the time. I really can imagine that. But that's all," the German was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.

"We need all our players. There is around one and a half months before the window opens and I don't think about things like this. There are so many games before then and I need all of them."