London – Chelsea are putting together a £1.5million golden goodbye for Daniel Sturridge to make sure that he joins Liverpool.
The clubs have agreed a £12million fee for the striker, who underwent a medical on Sunday and who is expected to sign a three-and-a-half year deal in the next 24 hours.
However, it needed the addition of a cash sweetener to facilitate the move after Sturridge indicated that he would be happy to stay at Stamford bridge and fight for his place until his contract expires in 18 months.
The on-off transfer hit a snag last week over the payment of agent fees and Chelsea were keen to avoid any more hitches as they seek to off-load Sturridge and his £60,000-a-week wages. They also do not want to risk losing the player for nothing in the summer of 2014.
Sturridge came close to joining Liverpool on August 31 but the switch collapsed when he refused to sign on loan, insisting he only wanted to move on a permanent deal.
Daily Mail exclusively revealed in October how Chelsea would redouble their efforts to sell Sturridge when the transfer window re-opens.
Barring an unexpected U-turn, Sturridge will become a Liverpool player this week. He joins a team fresh from a comprehensive win over Fulham and, significantly, with a skipper easing back into top form.
As Steven Gerrard surged on to a perfectly weighted ball from Stewart Downing then smashed a drive inexorably past Mark Schwarzer, he gave a demonstration of the skills which have consistently set him apart and also reinforced the point that, contrary to what some of his detractors may think, he remains one of the most influential midfielders in the Premier League.
This was Gerrard’s finest display of the campaign. Aside from providing two assists in the 4-0 demolition of Fulham, nobody ran further than the 6.31miles he covered and he has played in every minute of Liverpool’s 18 Premier League games. Gerrard only has 18 months left on his current contract but this was the type of performance that showed why – even at 32 – Liverpool can ill-afford to be without him and it left Brendan Rodgers adamant that a new deal should be drawn up.
“He is vital to us, and I recognise that,” said Rodgers. “I know he has 18 months left on his contract but I would want him to go beyond that for this club and this team.”
Rodgers, clearly, has never had any doubts about Gerrard but the same cannot be said of Downing, who was told last month he was free to leave in January if Liverpool received the right offer.
“I want to stay,” said Downing, who was outstanding against Fulham. “The only thing I can do is play well and make him keep me here.” – Daily Mail