Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has had an operation on his hip joint in an attempt to reach full fitness ahead of next season.

Sturridge posted a picture of himself in a hospital bed and confirmed that he had undergone a procedure on his injured hip.

A photo posted by Daniel Sturridge – Dstudge (@danielsturridge) on

"Just want to let the world know I’ve had a successful operation on my hip today and I want to thank God for allowing that to be possible," said Sturridge.

"Onwards and upwards from here. Thanks for the support."

The operation is likely to rule Sturridge out of Brendan Rodgers’ plans for the remainder of the campaign.

The Liverpool striker has barely played since agreeing a new £140,000 a week deal in October but the club’s owner, Fenway Sports Group, has taken a hands-on approach to try and get him ready for pre-season.

for further assessments with a specialist and it is anticipated the operation will rule him out for six weeks.

The 25-year-old has only played 18 games this season due to thigh, calf and hip injuries and his absence has proven damaging to Rodgers’ hopes of securing a top-four place, while he also missed last month’s FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.

Behind the scenes at Anfield there has been frustration over Sturridge’s ongoing injury problems but the club also recognise they have to find a solution for one of their prized assets.

This is the second time this season Sturridge has flown out to the United States, after spending last Christmas in New England as he sought to recover from a thigh injury.

Even if Sturridge recovers in time for Liverpool’s pre-season programme, Rodgers is determined to recruit attacking "marquee" players in the summer.

PSV Eindhoven winger Memphis Depay is regarded as a priority signing but the Merseysiders face competition from Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain.

Christian Benteke, the Aston Villa forward, is also a likely target but any deal could be complicated by the prospect of a takeover at the Midlands club this summer. Villa will also seek a fee of over £30million, which may prove problematic to Liverpool if they struggle to offload fringe players, and Tim Sherwood sees the Belgian as crucial to his own rebuilding plans.

Divock Origi is already scheduled to link up with the club for pre-season after spending the campaign back on loan with Lille, but Rodgers is expecting a busy summer of ins and outs.

Glen Johnson will depart on a free transfer while there are also doubts over the futures of Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert, Lucas Leiva and Fabio Borini.

The uncompromising defensive midfielder was at the heart of Jose Mourinho’s pragmatic run to this year’s title as the Blues built up a lead and then stoically eked out the results necessary to secure top spot with three games to spare.

It was an approach that led to opposition fans regularly accusing them of being "boring, boring Chelsea".

"Next season we will try to continue and win the title again," Matic said. "We are Chelsea and we know what we have to do to."

By the time they do, Mourinho could have committed himself to the club even further with reports that the Portuguese manager, who is halfway through a four-year contract signed on his return to Stamford Bridge in June 2013, having verbally verbally agreed a two-year extension.

But Matic knows how tough it will be to keep hold of their crown and he added: "Of course next season is going to be more difficult for us. Everyone knows that we are champions, so they will fight against us with more motivation. But we deserve that.

"I am very happy because we are champions, especially when we know we have three games to play. We showed character, not only against Crystal Palace on Sunday but all season.

"We deserve that three games to play with a bit more freedom, we will try to enjoy the games and to play seriously as well."

It will seem like exhibition stuff compared to the results Chelsea have ground out recently, but all the time there is the league crown at stake, Matic and his cohorts have been taught there is only one objective.

"When you are there almost to win the title there is more pressure and you don’t want to lose it," Matic said. "The most important thing is that every game, if you can win three points.

"Nobody will ask in five or 10 years how we played and whether we enjoyed it on the pitch or if the fans enjoyed it. They will just look at the table. This is the most important thing.

We showed this season that we are always dangerous, that we can always win

Nemanja Matic

"When you know the whole country looks to you, and wait to see what you’re going to do, and when you play at home and you need to win to be champions, of course you have some pressure.

"But that is why we play at this stadium and that is why we play for Chelsea, because we know how to cope with that."

Chelsea have led the table virtually uninterrupted since the very first weekend of the season and will celebrate with an open-topped bus tour of West London on May 25.

But Matic suspects they will not be able to have things their own way next season with more than a handful of other clubs in the running.

"In the Premier League you always have five, six teams who want to win the title," he said. "Next season is going to be the same, going to be hard for us, but we showed this season that we are always dangerous, that we can always win. And I hope that we can meet that."

believes there are a number of youngsters who have very bright futures in the game.

The great cast an eye over the Blues U18s’ FA Youth Cup final victory over on Monday night and picked out a trio of boys who he feels have the ability to make at the top.

‘Watching the FA Youth Cup final second leg I was really impressed with the front three of Dominic Solanke, Isaiah Brown and Tammy Abraham, but especially Solanke and Brown,’ he wrote in his column for the and .

‘Solanke is only 17, Brown, 18, so time is on their side, but they were not the only ones. The standard was so high. There are more, who I could imagine playing for Chelsea’s first team at some point.’

But Scholes posed the question of whether or not these youth academy products would be offered the chance to play senior football in the next year or two.

He continued: ‘Will , and in particular, make the room for these boys? Will the club keep topping up with experienced players every time they lose one, as they surely will with at the end of this season?

‘If, by some chance, had a transfer embargo for three years and had no choice but to move these players on to the first team, I don’t believe they would be short of good players.

‘To a lesser extent the same would be true at who have some good youngsters too. It would force their hand with the kids. In the short-term it might mean that they lost out but the long-term rewards would be huge.’

Holland coach Guus Hiddink has had his say on Memphis Depay’s move to Manchester United.

The PSV Eindhoven star agreed to join United last week.

Former Chelsea manager Hiddink stated: "He is moving to a higher stage. There are new tests, and that is good for him to experience.

"He’s ready to succeed. Lots of hard contests, higher speed and other tests in the locker room.

"That’s good for his development and so also for the Netherlands."

Sam Allardyce insists he wants to stay as West Ham United manager.

The 60-year old is out of contract at Upton Park at the end of the season but has confirmed that he would like to remain in the job if co-chairmen David Gold and David Sullivan want to extend his deal.

Allardyce suggested he has done a great job since taking the reins in east London three seasons ago and is looking to go around again with the Hammers.

"Everybody in the world of football has very short memories," Allardyce said.

"It’s only what happened a couple of weeks ago or next week that matters. What happened four months ago is forgotten, whether that’s good, bad or indifferent. That’s football.

"I want to see it through, yes. That depends on a lot of anomalies in terms of negotiations – not just myself but those involved around me. And of course how we’re going to progress in terms of recruitment.

"I’ve never heard them say I’m not doing a good job. I’ll find out next week and then I can ask them why – see if they give me an honest answer.

"We’re 11th with 47 points so we’ve got to try and get that 50-point mark and hope it gets us to 10th.

"Even if it doesn’t it’s still been an outstanding season and for me an outstanding three years back in the Premier League. I’ve only had to worry about relegation for about six weeks in three seasons."

Manchester United coaches Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt are urging manager Louis van Gaal not to ignore their youth players.

The Mail on Sunday says the pair are privately canvassed by coaches Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt to give the youngsters a run-out in their final Premier League match at Hull City should the club have already secured their Champions League place.

Assistant manager Giggs and academy chief Butt — both local boys who became part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s glory team at United — are keen to champion the emerging talent at United as Van Gaal gets ready to open the chequebook again.

They want to see players like James Wilson, Andreas Pereira, Josh Harrop, Joe Rothwell and Andy Kellett given a taste of first-team experience before the end of the season to encourage them that there is still a pathway at the club for homegrown players.

QPR boss Chris Ramsey insists Joey Barton is a different player compared to the last time he played at Manchester City.

Almost three years to the day, Barton earned a 12-match ban after first elbowing Carlos Tevez and then kicking out at Sergio Aguero on the final day of the season.

Ramsey said: "He was on a different stage of his life when he last went there and the red mist probably hit him a lot earlier than it does now.

"He has matured. As he has matured you can really see the qualities that he has, leadership qualities and playing ability that people don’t give him credit for."

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has given his approval to Jack Grealish regarding his impending decision on international football.

The 19-year old attacking midfielder turned down the chance to link up with Republic of Ireland for upcoming fixtures with England and Scotland because he wants to focus on Villa’s relegation battle.

Birmingham-born Grealish is eligible to represent both England and Ireland, as he has done with the latter’s youth teams, but has not yet made a choice on he will play for at senior level.

Of Grealish’s process, Sherwood said: "It’s not a slant on Ireland, England or anyone.

"I don’t think Jack didn’t want to play for Ireland, I don’t think he didn’t want to play for England or Brazil for that matter.

"He will make his decision. He’s good enough to play international football but he’s putting that on hold.

"The case was he was always going to decide on his international future at the end of this season. He’s got three very important games to take care of for Aston Villa. His concentration is fully on that.

"Jack hasn’t made his mind up what country he wants to represent but the good news is they all want him. It’s a decision only Jack has to make in a cool, calm situation at the end of this season."

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has highlighted those who make it difficult for young players to come through the ranks.

The Blues boss is set to unleash Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Izzy Brown and possibly Nathan Ake in Monday night’s clash with West Bromwich Albion but the Portuguese says their development has not been without its glitches from outside influences.

“The most difficult thing in bringing a teenage player through? In modern football, the agents and the parents,” said Mourinho.

“When the players are almost there and in the process of being almost there, they (parents and agents) think they are already there.

“They make the players think they have arrived when they haven’t. They think about money before the career starts, and everything gets very confused.

“That doesn’t help the players. They need stability.”

He added: “But to be in a big team and reach the level to be playing regularly for the first team, you need time and stability. We try to give that to our boys.”

Free agent Antonio Cassano admits he’d like to join Sampdoria or AS Monaco.

Cassano left Parma earlier this season.

“I’d love to come back to Sampdoria and aim for a place at the 2016 European Championships,” he told Rai Sport show Dribbling.

“Alternatively, I’d like to play for Monaco.”

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