Bilic eyes Sturridge option for January sale period

LONDON • Slaven Bilic, West Ham's under-fire manager, has indicated that he would be willing to make a move for Daniel Sturridge should the Liverpool forward become available when the transfer window opens next month.

"He's just a player that has been linked with us, basically, and we've been linked with almost every player," Bilic said.

"We're always there in contention. Most of the time it's absolutely not true, 95 per cent of the time. But you're asking me about Sturridge and I have no problem about that."

Bilic, though, would be concerned about Sturridge's injury history, particularly because West Ham have had similar issues with Andy Carroll since they signed him from Liverpool.

Sturridge was ruled out of Liverpool's match with West Ham this morning (Singapore time) because of a calf problem.

Bilic said Sturridge was "one of the biggest talents". The West Ham manager added: "He's a great player. The talent is there, the touch, the finishing, everything is great. The only thing that has stopped him being a regular for club and country are the injuries.

"I don't know his work rate, I don't know his dedication to his job or whatever but unfortunately for England and for Liverpool and especially for him, he's injured. That's his problem."

This morning's match was the 85th club game Sturridge had missed for Liverpool through injury since signing in 2013.

He has played in only 103 of the 203 games the Reds have played since his arrival at Anfield.

He has started only four of his nine league matches this season and has yet to complete 90 minutes in the top flight in this campaign.

Coincidentally, Carroll has also missed 85 games through injury since he arrived in 2012.

THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2016, with the headline 'Bilic eyes Sturridge option for January sale period'. Print Edition | Subscribe