LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 15: Daniel Sturridge of Chelsea celebrates with his teammate Ashley Cole of Chelsea after Sturridge scored the first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Everton at Stamford Bridge on October 15, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Lately there has been some confusion in the media about the amount of time Daniel Sturridge has left with the club. The popular belief was that Sturridge had only one year remaining on his initial Chelsea contract, but lately some in the media have been mentioning Sturridge in rumors while stating that his contract has two years to run. Unfortunately the only people with accurate information here are either involved with the club or player, so unless they decide to clear things up, I think all we can do is go by what we were told when Sturridge first signed. So what is that exactly? Well here is the official statement from the club on his signing. The relevant part:
Chelsea Football Club is delighted to confirm that Daniel Sturridge has agreed to join the club on a four-year contract.
That's pretty simple, no? Daniel Sturridge signed a four year deal in July of 2009. That contract should be set to expire on July 1st of 2013. At no point in the Chelsea website archives can there be found a mention of an extension, and I've never seen an instance of Chelsea extending a player in which they didn't inform the fans. They even do so for players like Lucas Piazon, who has yet to make his first team debut.
What might be possible here is that the player has an option in his contract for another season, as that's something that does occasionally happen. As with extensions though, the club usually announces when they activate an option year even if the original signing statement never mentioned that clause. In this case, I think it would indicate that the club has not yet decided to exercise their option if one did in fact exist. I'm fairly skeptical of that existing though, and would be surprised if we indeed have that right and hadn't yet exercised it.
Most players sign five year deals when they transfer to a new club. Daniel signing on a four year deal was a bit of an oddity. If I had to guess, the current batch of rumors suggesting Sturridge still has two seasons remaining on his Chelsea deal are simply the byproduct of lazy journalism. Anyone who couldn't be bothered to dig through the Chelsea archives would likely fall under the assumption that Danny still had two seasons to run on his deal, and we all know that the British media is more than willing to cut corners whenever they feel like it. Just judging by the past history of the club and the press, I'm still inclined to believe that Daniel Sturridge has only a year remaining on his deal. You're more than welcome to believe differently if you like, just be aware that all of the actual evidence here would suggest he'll be free to leave next July.