West Brom appear to have won the race to sign Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge on loan after the striker turned down the chance to go to Newcastle.
The 28-year-old has fallen a long way down the pecking order at Anfield and, as a result of injury and subsequent non-selection, has not featured since the Champions League match with Spartak Moscow on December 6.
Inter Milan had wanted to take Sturridge on loan to Serie A and tabled an offer which met Liverpool’s demands, but with Sevilla also expressing an interest the player was holding out for other opportunities.
Press Association Sport understands the striker spoke with Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez, with the Magpies willing to pay the player’s reported £125,000-a-week wages, but he has opted to join Premier League rivals West Brom.
Sturridge was born in Birmingham and still has family ties there and that is believed to have influenced his decision.
The conclusion of the move now rests on Sturridge passing a medical and committing to the second-bottom Baggies for the rest of the season.
West Brom boss Alan Pardew said after Saturday’s FA Cup win over Liverpool – a match Sturridge was not selected for despite being fit – that he was keen to bring in another striker to provide competition for his existing forwards, despite Jay Rodriguez scoring five goals in his last six matches.
“He (Rodriguez) will stop reacting if someone doesn’t come in,” Pardew said.
It leaves Newcastle, who have scored just 22 goals in 24 Premier League matches this season, with another problem after previously failing to agree a fee with Feyenoord for £22million-rated Danish international Nicolai Jorgensen.