Liverpool Transfer News: Latest Rumours on Daniel Sturridge and Franck Kessie

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2017

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11:  Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool stands dejected after the EFL Cup semi-final first leg match between Southampton and Liverpool at St Mary's Stadium on January 11, 2017 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

West Ham United are reportedly considering cashing in on Andy Carroll in the summer in order to fund a move for Liverpool forward Daniel Sturridge.

According to Paul Hetherington of the Daily Star Sunday, the Irons could have sold Carroll to Tianjin Quanjian, Hebei China Fortune or Shandong Luneng Taishan for £32 million in the January transfer window, although they opted to keep hold of the burly forward.

However, it's also stated that they may be ready to sell Carroll in the summer. "If the Hammers could sell Carroll to China for that sort of fee, they would do the deal," Hetherington said. "They would be prepared to pay up to £25 million for Sturridge, whose injury-hit career has put his Anfield future in doubt."

Sturridge has endured another difficult season on Merseyside, having struggled to make it into the first XI early on in the campaign and recently been sidelined because of injury woes. Bleacher Report's Karl Matchett broke down the effect the fitness issues have had on his playing time:

Karl Matchett @karlmatchett

Daniel Sturridge has played less than a third of all minutes for #LFC this season. In PL only, 25%. [only 1 run of 4 games inj.]

Stylistically, he's not the right type of player for manager Jurgen Klopp's system, either. The German coach demands versatility and intensity from his forward players. While Sturridge is sharp over 10 yards, he struggles to press with the aggression Klopp demands.

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Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp (R) gives instructions to Liverpool's English striker Daniel Sturridge during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on April 10, 2016.
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Nevertheless, if he were fit he'd be a big asset to Liverpool, who lack a poacher in the England international's mould. At a club like West Ham, who would perhaps cater for Sturridge's deficiencies more than Klopp does, the 27-year-old could thrive.

Despite his problems, as we can see below, courtesy of WhoScored.com, when Sturridge does make it onto the field, he is a deadeye in front of goal:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

Daniel Sturridge: Only 2 players with 50+ apps in the last 4 PL seasons have scored more often than @DanielSturridge (every 129.9 mins) https://t.co/LtSOSfo0VJ

If Liverpool were to receive an offer of £25 million for Sturridge, there'd surely be a big temptation to sell given his inactivity this season. For West Ham, while there'd be excitement at the arrival of such a talented goalscorer, there'd also be some concern that they were trading one injury-prone striker in Carroll for another.

Franck Kessie Auction

BERGAMO, ITALY - FEBRUARY 18:  Franck Kessie (R) of Atalantais is challenged by Lorenzo Crisetig of Crotone during the Serie A match between Atalanta BC and FC Crotone at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia on February 18, 2017 in Bergamo, Italy.  (Photo by Tu
Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

According to Calciomercato.com (h/t Sport Witness) Atalanta are expecting a summer auction for star midfielder Franck Kessie, with Liverpool said to be one of the teams vying for his signature.

It's reported that the Reds are one of a clutch of teams considering a move for the Ivory Coast international, who has been sensational in Serie A this term. Chelsea and Manchester United are also said to be admirers of the 20-year-old, as are Juventus and Roma.

Here's a look at why:

Kessie's incredible development is said to have raised Atalanta's valuation of him, with an offer of €30 million (£26.3 million) said to be needed before they'd consider selling.

The central midfielder has been one of the key figures in La Dea's superb season, with his all-action displays in the middle of the park giving the team a foothold in most matches. Per football writer David Amoyal, some of Italy's elite teams have had firsthand experience of his quality:

David Amoyal @DavidAmoyal

It's not surprising that Roma is going so hard after Kessie since he absolutely crushed them when they faced him in Bergamo not long ago

For a manager like Klopp, such a dynamic young player would be perfect, refreshing the Liverpool midfield.

It's clear competition will be fierce for Kessie at the end of the season, especially if he continues to play a crucial part for Atalanta. If Liverpool can tempt him to Anfield with the promise of regular football and working under one of the game's most exciting managers, it'd be a big coup.

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