Liverpool: Daniel Sturridge says his future is at Anfield
Daniel Sturridge says his future is at Liverpool after accusing his critics of "disrespect".
It has been reported the striker, who has played nine games this season due to injury, wants to leave Anfield over criticism of his fitness record.
"I think it is astonishing, disappointing - whoever is saying it - but that's football," said 26-year-old Sturridge.
"I am very ambitious, very determined to help Liverpool have success.
"To say a player doesn't want to play is the biggest disrespect you could ever say to a footballer," he added.
A heart 'the size of a pea'?
Manager Jurgen Klopp has spoken of his frustrations over Sturridge's fitness and several former Anfield stars have said it is time for the club to sign a replacement.
Chris Sutton, who won the Premier League title with Blackburn, questioned the mentality of Sturridge, saying players would say he has a heart 'the size of a pea'.
"I would probably say a lot of the things people say about me aren't true," Sturridge said before Thursday's Europa League match at home to FC Augsburg, with the tie goalless after the first leg.
"I don't think anyone will understand how much it means to me to play football and I'll continue to do my best and focus on Liverpool.
"It's important to worry about the present. It has been a difficult time being injured but it is part of football and now I'm looking forward to the future, of course with Liverpool."
"This is what we needed"
Sturridge, who has two-and-a-half years left on his contract, has scored five goals since April, when a hip problem forced him to have an operation in New York in May.
He joined Liverpool from Chelsea in January 2013 and went on to score 28 times for club and country in 2013-14.
But he missed five months of last season with a thigh injury suffered on England duty, and also had treatment for calf and thigh problems before returning.
He then picked up a hip injury against Manchester United in March 2015, which cut short the previous campaign.
"That is what we needed: to hear from him not second-hand," said manager Jurgen Klopp, whose Liverpool side face Manchester City in the Capital One Cup final on Sunday.
"He has to start games to get in the best shape. He needs to play football and do the things on the pitch and we will be happy."