Bilic hails reported West Ham target Sturridge

The England international has been linked with a move away from Liverpool, with the Hammers boss praising the striker before the transfer window opens

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic talked up Daniel Sturridge as the forward seemingly nears a Liverpool exit.

Sturridge, 27, looks set to leave Anfield in the off-season after making just five Premier League starts this campaign.

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The England international is reportedly a target for West Ham, who are 14th in the league table.

Bilic is an admirer of Sturridge and said the forward, at his best, was a star.

"When he is on fire, he is a great player. We are going to see. We have our list of strikers. If you go back two or three seasons he was unbelievable," the Croatian said.

"He plays very rarely but I watched Stoke against Liverpool. He came on and, with a couple of passes, he broke their defence.

"So of course he is showing that when he plays, but he plays very rarely."

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Since scoring 10 league goals in 2012-13 and 21 in 2013-14, Sturridge has been unable to reach double figures for Liverpool.

Constant injuries have hindered him this campaign, and manager Jurgen Klopp has offered no guarantees over his future despite being contracted until mid-2019.