Liverpool complete deal for Chelsea's Sturridge

LONDON (AFP) - Liverpool announced on Wednesday that they have completed a deal to sign England international forward Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea on a long-term contract.

The 23-year-old joined Chelsea from Manchester City in 2009 but was unable to impose himself at Stamford Bridge and has been predominantly used as a substitute this season.

"I am humbled and happy to be here," Sturridge told the Liverpool website.

"(Liverpool manager) Brendan Rodgers said he sees me here for a long time, and I also see myself here for a long time. I've not signed here to play for a couple of years and then move on.

"I've signed to be here for as long as possible. It's a humongous club - for me, one of the biggest in the world - and to have the fans and world-class players we have here is amazing."

Speaking after his side's 3-0 win at home to Sunderland on Wednesday, Rodgers said he was excited about adding Sturridge to his squad.

"I have known Daniel since he was 12 at Coventry and then coming through the ranks at Man City. He can score, he has pace and power," said Rodgers.

"He is also hungry and what we need at Liverpool is players hungry to do well. He recognises this might be his chance at a big club and he has to produce. I am looking forward to working with him."

Sturridge, who will wear the number 15 shirt for the Anfield club, is Liverpool's first signing of the January transfer window and is reported to have cost around 12 million pounds (S$24 million).

He made his England debut against Sweden in November 2011 and has since made three further international appearances.

The left-footed striker also represented hosts Great Britain at last year's Olympic Games, scoring twice.

Chelsea have already moved to bring a new forward into their squad, with Newcastle United announcing earlier on Wednesday that last season's Champions League winners have triggered a 7 million pounds departure clause in the contract of Senegalese striker Demba Ba.

Rodgers also confirmed that Liverpool were in talks to allow out-of-favour midfielder Joe Cole to return to his former club, West Ham United.

"I spoke to Joe earlier. He is a really good lad and has been brilliant during my time here in terms of as a human being," said the Liverpool coach.

"He is obviously speaking with West Ham at the moment and if they can get something organised, it will be a terrific move for Joe."