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Slaven Bilic Denies West Ham Interest in Daniel Sturridge

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West Ham manager Slaven Bilic was asked about rumours that his club was chasing injury-prone Liverpool star Daniel Sturridge. He quickly shot them down.

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Daniel Sturridge has played in less than 30% of Liverpool’s games and less than 20% of the minutes since the start of the 2014-15 season. To call the striker injury-prone would be an understatement. However, it’s clear that when he’s fit, he’s one of the best strikers in England, and maybe even in all of football.

Still, there’s only so long a club can go living in the hope he can stay fit long enough to make a difference, and rumours West Ham had tabled an £18M bid for Sturridge left Liverpool fans genuinely uncertain as to what course of action their club might take if the rumours were true. According to Slaven Bilic, though, they aren’t.

"That is only a rumour and there’s nothing behind it," Bilic said during a break in training ahead of Saturday’s match against Manchester City. "I’m not going to talk about who we want—and Daniel Sturridge is a big player and a big name—but that is only paper talk. What if? I would also take Lionel Messi, but there is nothing in it."

While the rumour mongers might see a chance to spin tales of West Ham trying to tempt Lionel Messi from the Camp Nou, for anyone else the message seems clear. At least as far as Bilic is aware, the only people talking about Sturridge coming to West Ham are the papers and pundits. Reports from the Liverpool end say similar.

The club may be frustrated by Sturridge’s inability to stay fit, but journalists with ties to Liverpool have consistently claimed there is no interest in selling him, at least not this month. If his injury problems persist until the summer that might change, but for now at least Sturridge is expected to remain a Liverpool player.