By Matt Farr
Danny Murphy admits he can see Daniel Sturridge joining West Ham this summer, but only if Andy Carroll is sold.
Sturridge has fallen down the pecking order at Anfield this season, and his lack of appearances could see him axed by Jurgen Klopp this summer in favour of a more reliable goalscoring option.
The 27-year-old has rarely been available for selection due to endless fitness concerns, which has restricted him to just 25 appearances in all competitions this term, of which only nine have been starts.
But West Ham find themselves in a similar situation with the injury-prone Carroll, with Slaven Bilic expected to pursue goalscoring reinforcements this summer.
Sturridge has previously been linked with a switch to the London Stadium, and the Sun on Sunday reported that he was open to a move to the club.
Murphy believes it is in the striker’s best interests to quit Anfield in the coming months.
However, in his column for the Standard, he stated that he could only see Sturridge moving to West Ham if they were to first offload Carroll.
He said: “Daniel Sturridge is such a talented player and remains one of the best finishers in England. But because he is on the pitch so rarely, he has to prove himself again every time he is given an opportunity.
“Sturridge will not play regularly at Liverpool to get the fitness and consistency levels he needs, so I believe it is in his best interests if he leaves.
“But he is on big money at Anfield – about £140,000 week – and I can see West Ham signing him only if Andy Carroll leaves the club.”
West Ham’s lack of a prolific goalscorer has been one of a number of problems that has seen them falter in the Premier League this season.
Michail Antonio is the club’s top scorer in all competitions this term with nine goals, but the winger has been out with a hamstring injury, and last hit the back of the net on March 11.
Bilic is therefore expected to pursue a summer move for a goalscorer, with Sunderland talisman Jermain Defoe another reported target.
In other West Ham transfer news, this £65,000-per-week Hammers ace admired by Jose Mourinho is headed for the exit door this summer.