Monday 25 September 2017

Liverpool dismiss Magpies' move for unsettled Carroll

Andy Carroll will link up with Liverpool in Boston with his future still uncertain
Andy Carroll will link up with Liverpool in Boston with his future still uncertain

John Percy

ANDY CARROLL is still facing an uncertain future at Anfield after an audacious bid from Newcastle to re-sign him on loan was last night rejected by Liverpool.

The England international has been targeted by his former club for a surprise return to his native north-east, with Newcastle making the offer on Saturday, 18 months after selling him for £35m.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers appeared to publicly clear Carroll for a transfer away from the club last week, and Magpies manager Alan Pardew made his move over the weekend in an attempt to head off interest from West Ham, Aston Villa and AC Milan.

The offer was believed to have been a loan arrangement for the season, with Newcastle also proposing a permanent transfer next summer of around £12m up front in a lump sum.

Newcastle's move had been agreed by Mike Ashley, who controversially sold him two seasons ago, and the chairman is providing Pardew with substantial backing as they prepare to participate in the Europa League.

Pardew is facing an anxious fortnight to discover if a rival club will trigger a £7m escape clause in Demba Ba's contract and is keen to add more firepower to his squad.

But Liverpool are not interested in sending Carroll out on loan, and are even more reluctant to offload him to Newcastle after paying such a significant fee to sign him in January 2011. Liverpool were refusing to comment on the offer last night but it is understood they will only sanction a permanent deal.

Newcastle's offer was also understood to be minimal, paying only a small portion of his wages, and was laughed off by Liverpool's owners -- but it is unlikely to be the final offer made by Ashley in this transfer window.

Newcastle are expected to return with a cut-price bid towards the end of the window, in the hope of forcing Liverpool's hand and tempting Carroll into making an emotional return to his hometown.

Carroll, who is currently on holiday after being granted extra leave by Rodgers, having appeared at Euro 2012, is said to have been surprised by the tone of the Ulsterman's comments last week but sources close to him insist he still believes he can salvage his career on Merseyside.

The 23-year-old has only managed six Premier League goals in 42 appearances since leaving St James' Park, and his future with Liverpool appears even more in doubt after Rodgers completed the £7m signing of Fabio Borini from Roma last week.

But the prospect of a heroic return to his first club is certain to be tempting, especially if first-team opportunities appear limited under his new manager. He must also consider whether he can afford to take the risk of staying at Liverpool and possibly falling further down the pecking order in Roy Hodgson's England squad if he is out of the picture with his club.

Carroll recovered from a disappointing campaign to shine in the final weeks of the season and also impressed in England's 3-2 win over Sweden, scoring a trademark header.

Tentative

Other Premier League clubs including Villa are monitoring Carroll's situation. Villa have made tentative contact in the past few days and manager Paul Lambert refused to rule out a move for the forward after the 2-1 friendly win over Burton on Saturday.

He said: "If we could get him it would be great. He's a top player, there's no doubt. It wouldn't be one I would dismiss if we could get him."

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce also retains an interest but has declared he has doubts over whether he could sign him on loan. There is also interest from abroad but Newcastle are the first club to make a concrete offer.

Carroll returns from holiday on Wednesday but will not meet up with the Liverpool squad in Boston until next week, together with the rest of the players who featured in Poland and Ukraine.

Newcastle are close to completing one deal, with France full-back Mathieu Debuchy flying into England last night to seal a £7m move from Lille. Debuchy, a defender who impressed at Euro 2012, is expected to sign a four-year deal.

Pardew is also confident of signing FC Twente's Brazilian defender Douglas before the start of the season. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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