Liverpool’s injury-plagued striker Daniel Sturridge was linked with a shock move to West Ham a couple of days ago. However, when asked about the rumours in a press conference, Hammers manager Slaven Bilic vehemently denied the rumours, as reported by Goal.
“That is only a rumour and there is nothing behind it,” Bilic said. “I am not talking about who we want – Daniel Sturridge is a big player and a big name – but that is only paper talk.”
And when he was asked whether he would be interested in the England international if he becomes available, he replied: “What if? I would take Lionel Messi also, but it is only an ‘if’ so there is nothing in it.”
The 26-year old striker has struggled with fitness issues during last two seasons and has managed only 17 appearances for the Reds. There were recent speculations which suggested that manager Jurgen Klopp might decide to sell his star striker if he doesn’t overcome his injury problems shortly.
In another Liverpool-related transfer story, Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has dismissed suggestions that striker Shane Long might join the Reds in the January transfer window.
He said: “We brought one player [Charlie Austin] in and nobody will go out. I keep that until January 31. You know my answer but maybe I have to repeat it 80 times more.”
Long joined Southampton during the summer of 2014 from Hull City. The Irish international has scored 15 goals and provided nine assists in 59 appearances for the Saints.
On a side note, Koeman confirmed Austin could make his debut in Saturday’s trip to face Manchester United after being impressed with his application since his move, and has backed him to force his way into the England set-up this year.