Daniel Sturridge Liverpool
Daniel Sturridge's best days of his career were at Liverpool between 2013 and 2019 Wikimedia Commons

Former Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has reportedly been issued a police warrant after failing to appear in court in the United States.

Sturridge, who retired earlier this summer, now finds himself in trouble with a Los Angeles court over money he allegedly owes to a man, who claims he found the player's lost dog.

The case against Daniel Sturridge

The courtroom situation began in July 2019, when Sturridge's pet Pomeranian, Lucci, was stolen from his residence in Los Angeles. In a desperate attempt to find his dog, the former England striker offered a reward for Lucci's safe return.

Foster Washington, an American rapper known as Killa Fame, claimed to have reunited Sturridge with his canine companion. However, problems arose when the promised reward was not delivered, leading Washington to file a civil lawsuit against the star athlete. In December 2021, a Los Angeles court issued a default judgment mandating Sturridge to pay Washington £24,400 ($30,000).

Sturridge was asked to appear at the Los Angeles court last month for a "debtor's exam" to face questions regarding his financial situation. However, the footballer did not attend, and court documents circulating in English media have revealed that he has been served with a bench warrant – a summons for his arrest and appearance in court, with Nov. 30 reportedly assigned for a new hearing.

Washington, who has alleged to have spent over £8,194 ($10,000) on legal fees said in an interview that just because Sturridge is rich, doesn't mean he won't respond to what's going on and that's why he was forced to "have the judge issue a warrant so he has to pay the money".

"For me, it's a point of principle. He promised me the money. It's a substantial amount of money that could change my family's life. He thinks he is above the law," Washington slammed Sturridge in a recent interview.

Meanwhile, Thomas Scully, Washington's attorney, has vowed to "not give up" because "it doesn't seem that Daniel Sturridge should get away with it".

"He has the money to pay and he has the money to hire a lawyer. He just doesn't feel like it. He probably doesn't feel like he is beholden to California courts and so he is probably just going to continue ignoring it. But I have some other tools in the Californian civil procedure and I am going to keep on trying to pursue that. This isn't the end of the story," added Scully.

Sturridge's previous statement

The 34-year-old former footballer had previously posted about the incident on social media back in December 2021.

"Just to let you know the truth at Christmas. I met a young boy who found my dog and paid him a reward, which he was delighted with, as was I to get my dog back because he was stolen. Other people are trying to benefit for their own personal gain. Thank you to the young boy once again. I'm very grateful Lucci is back with our family," he wrote on a social media platform.

Sturridge was associated with youth academies of multiple clubs, including Manchester City, where he eventually made his senior debut. The Englishman enjoyed the best run of his career at Liverpool, where he recorded 68 goals and 26 assists in 160 games in all competitions from 2013 to 2019. He was also a part of the Reds' side that won the UEFA Champions League in 2018-19.

Before that he spent four years at Chelsea – scoring 24 times and providing nine assists in 96 competitive appearances, helping them win a Premier League, Champions League and two FA Cup trophies as well.

Sturridge also played at Turkish side Trabzonspor and spent time out on loan at Bolton and West Brom in 2011 and 2018 respectively. He last played professional football in the 2021-22 season when he was associated with an Australian club, Perth Glory.