Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is to join Premier League strugglers West Bromwich Albion on loan for the rest of the season, having turned down the chance to join Newcastle United.
Sturridge, 28, had seemed set to join the Magpies – and was set to have a medical there – until Baggies manager Alan Pardew intervened and convinced him to make the move to the Black Country instead.
Inter Milan had shown an interest in Sturridge but had made no concrete offer. The terms of West Brom’s deal to secure Sturridge haven’t been revealed.
The move should help to get Sturridge more first-team football. He has slipped down the pecking order at Liverpool this season and has only started 5 PL matches. With the World Cup in Russia on the horizon, Sturridge wants game time to try and force his way back into England manager Gareth Southgate’s plans.
Pardew has been trying to strengthen his squad all month, and a striker was a priority given the Baggies’ poor record in front of goal this season – just 19 goals in 24 matches.
Bringing in a striker has also been one of Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez’s top priorities and had been chasing Sturridge all month. While the club had initially been put off by his wages – said to be about £150,000 per week – that stumbling block appeared to have been overcome.
Newcastle have also been chasing Feyenood striker Nikolai Jorgenson, but have had two offers rebuffed so far. However, Benitez is still chasing his man and preparing a third bid.
The deal for Sturridge may also have added satisfaction for Pardew as he gets one over on his old employers. Pardew was Newcastle manager from 2010 to 2014, but was never popular among fans.