According to Sky Sports’ Keith Downie and the Northern Echo, a ‘key part’ in Daniel Sturridge’s decision to turn down Newcastle for West Brom was geographical reasons – with the Birmingham born striker still having a ‘number of family members in the city’.
It was reported earlier today that Newcastle were closing in on a loan deal for the Liverpool striker, however the 28-year-old did not travel north as expected, with West Brom stealing a march on us at the last minute.
It’s little consolation as we’ve still seen Benitez beaten to the punch by Alan Pardew of all people, also seeing a relegation rival strengthened at our expense. I’d also question how this could be such a huge factor when it’s a 4-month loan, not him signing a permanent 4-year contract – but we don’t know the details of his ‘family reasons’.
Newcastle’s enquiry for Daniel Sturridge falling on deaf ears as we’re told the England striker is set to choose West Brom for family reasons.
— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) January 29, 2018
The Echo state that Benitez had spoken to Sturridge personally and the club were expecting him on Tyneside today for a medical after agreeing to pay his £100,000 wage packet in full for the remainder of the season – a bitter pill to swallow given he’s now set to seal a move to the Hawthorns.
Here’s a snippet from Scott Wilson’s latest piece in the Northern Echo for an insight into the Sturridge deal:
‘They agreed the broad terms of a loan agreement with Liverpool that would have seen Sturridge move to St James’ Park for the remainder of the season, with Newcastle agreeing to pay the whole of his wages, which are understood to be more than £100,000-a-week.
‘Rafael Benitez is understood to have spoken to Sturridge in person, and Newcastle officials had been hoping that Sturridge would travel to the North-East this afternoon in order to undergo a medical.
‘Instead, it now looks as though Sturridge has opted to move to West Brom instead, with former Newcastle boss Alan Pardew hoping to confirm his signature within the next 24 hours.
‘Geography has played a key part in Sturridge’s decision, with the 28-year-old having been born in Birmingham and still having a number of family members in the city.’
If this is to be believed, it sounds like Sturridge was set to make the move and that NUFC officials had done their bit (for once), however West Brom’s late approach seems to have swayed him for personal/geographical reasons.
It’s still tough to take though. The Newcastle United of old wouldn’t have missed out on this deal for reasons like this, however we must accept that under Ashley’s regime, we’re no longer such a desirable proposition – even if Rafa’s at the helm.
Regardless of Sturridge’s reasons, this is all a product of trying to do business with so little left to go in the window, as Mark Douglas states here:
These kind of nasty twists in the tale are what happens if you leave it this late and – like the rest of the division – you're trying to sign a decent striker. I'm sure someone said it'd have been better to have business wrapped up by January 20…
— Mark Douglas (@MsiDouglas) January 29, 2018