According to reports, West Ham United are willing to pay as much as £18million for England international Daniel Sturridge despite his injury problems.
On his day there is little doubt that Sturridge is amongst the best strikers in the country, if not Europe. Since leaving Chelsea’s bench for Liverpool in 2013 he has scored 44 goals in 72 appearances in all competitions, yet it is the fact he has only managed so few outings during this time which has caused concern for his long-term future in the red half of Merseyside.
Sturridge has suffered with a string of injuries during his time at Anfield, and has only featured for 106 minutes since Jurgen Klopp was appointed as successor to the sacked Brendan Rodgers. The striker scored twice against Crystal Palace in the League Cup in this time, which prompted the German coach to state he now knew what the fuss over the player was all about.
But Klopp also accepts that he can’t pin his attacking hopes on such an injury-prone striker, and is therefore in the market for someone who can play regularly – and find the back of the net regularly – throughout the season. What this will mean for Sturridge remains to be seen, but the Brentwood Gazette claim the 26-year-old could be offered a move to West Ham.
The Hammers move into their new home at the Olympic Stadium next term, when there is a genuine chance they could be hosting UEFA Champions League football. Slaven Bilic’s side are currently in sixth position in the Premier League, just four points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, but the Croatian coach wants a new striker for the second half of the season.
The Gazette claim the Upton Park club are willing to pay as much as £18million for Sturridge, which would mark a return to the capital for the player. Earlier this week co-owner David Sullivan revealed he was in talks over signing a new striker but refused to reveal his identity, although it clearly isn’t the Liverpool man as the player in question is based in an overseas league.
“We are looking, long-term, for a 20-goal-a-season striker,” he said. “There’s a possibility that a striker will come in on loan, with the option to buy, within the next seven days. He’s an overseas striker. If I told you, you wouldn’t believe it. I can’t tell you which league because you’ll know who it is. We are signing from a very strange league. But he has played in higher leagues.”
It has since emerged that the man in question, according to Sky Sports, is Emmanuel Emenike. The Nigerian international is well known by Bilic who coached him at Fenerbahce, where he remains under contract. The 28-year-old, though, is currently on loan in Dubai at Al Ain, so an agreement would need to be made with both loans if a transfer is to happen this month.
West Ham, meanwhile, have pipped Everton to the signature of highly-rated Leeds United fullback Sam Byram. The Londoners had tried to sign the 22-year-old during the summer but failed to persuade the Elland Road club to sell, but when it was revealed that the Toffees had an offer accepted, the Hammers returned with a matching £3.75million bid.