Former Liverpool, and striker Daniel Sturridge is the subject of an arrest warrant in the United States after failing to pay a reward for his missing dog.
Sturridge was handed the warrant for failing to appear in a Los Angeles court over the incident.
The 34-year-old had offered a reward to anyone who could safely return his pet dog Lucci in July 2019 after it was stolen from his house during a burglary in LA.
Foster Washington, an American rapper known as Killa Fame, reunited Sturridge with the dog but claimed that he never received a reward, which subsequently resulted in a civil lawsuit.
and the former England international was due back for a ‘debtor’s exam’ last month to answer questions on his finances – but he did not turn up – resulting in the arrest warrant.
Washington, who claims to have spent over $10,000 [£8,100] on legal fees, told : ‘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. He thinks because he’s rich he doesn’t have to respond to what’s going on. That’s why I had to have the judge issue a warrant so he has to pay the money.’
Thomas Scully, Washington’s attorney, said: ‘A lot of people just decide to ignore lawsuits for whatever reason, and a lot of times they get away with it because they don’t have any money. But 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 with that. This isn’t the end of the story. I am certainly not giving up yet.’
Sturridge has previously claimed that a ‘young boy’ found Lucci and a reward was paid.
‘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,’ Sturridge posted on Twitter.
‘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.’
It is thought that a new hearing has now been set for November 30 in an attempt to resolve the issue.
Sturridge has been without a club since leaving Perth Glory in 2022 .
Sturridge enjoyed the best spell of his career at Liverpool, where he registered 68 goals and 26 assists across 160 games from 2013 to 2019.
Before that he spent four years at Chelsea – scoring 24 times and providing nine assists in 96 appearances – while Sturridge has knocked up 26 caps for England.
He has also played for Manchester City as well as Turkish side Trabzonspor and spent time out on loan at Bolton and West Brom in 2011 and 2018 respectively.