Andy Carroll has vowed to save his Anfield career amid fresh claims Liverpool are prepared to offload the £35 million striker.
A year on from Carroll’s British-record transfer from Newcastle, the striker is unable to dispel the view his days on Merseyside are already numbered. But the 22 year-old insists he has no wish to quit Liverpool after just 12 months.
It emerged over the weekend Manchester City were sounded out about whether they would be prepared to swap Carlos Tevez for Carroll — a complete non starter as far as City and the Argentine striker are concerned. Liverpool have privately denied suggestions anyone representing their club made such a proposal, but they have yet to make a public response.
Carroll himself will certainly be seeking reassurance from his club about the validity of the claims.
Manager Kenny Dalglish has consistently offered his support for Carroll, and offered more encouraging words after his performance against Manchester United on Saturday. That has not halted a growing belief an offer for Carroll anywhere close to the £35?million Liverpool paid would be welcomed at Anfield.
The emphatic refusal of City to entertain a swap demonstrates the difficulty Liverpool would face getting a large chunk of that excessive fee back. Earlier this month, a return to Newcastle was mooted for just £10?million, well below what Liverpool would accept. Again, Liverpool denied any knowledge of contact with anyone at the club, but it has fanned the flames.
Carroll, though, insisted he wants to fight on at Anfield. “I love it here,” he said. “All the lads are great with me in training and away from the training ground everyone has been great with me as well.
“I think I’m just getting into my stride now. Everyone is getting used to how I play and I’m getting used to everyone else but everyone is helping me and now I just need to get going.”
Asked if he was unhappy at Liverpool, Carroll replied: “No, not at all. The club has been great with me and I’m enjoying it here. Everyone is backing me and helping me along the way. I’m just here. I’ve signed a contract here and this is the team I’m playing for.”
Carroll should have been enjoying one of his better weekends since moving to Liverpool. His flicked header enabled Dirk Kuyt to score the 88th-minute winner against United, securing Liverpool a fifth round home tie with Brighton next month.
“I thought I did well but now I’ve just got to keep on going and keep working on it and then it will come,” he said. “Obviously it was nice to get an assist. Winning in midweek and getting to the final and then Man United coming here, beating them and getting through, it’s a great feeling.
“It was disappointing last week against Bolton and we needed to put that right. We did that. We’ve had two great wins back to back and now we need to carry that form on to Wolves on Tuesday night and then to Tottenham next week.”
Despite more encouraging reviews against United, he has struggled at Liverpool since he arrived injured a year ago. He was signed after an impressive start to the Premier League last season — not least when he outmuscled Liverpool during one of his best Newcastle performances — but has never shown the same level.
He has been unable to adapt to a style of football which relies on pace, movement and a good first touch and has posed as many tactical problems for his manager as his opponents. There have also been persistent questions about his fitness levels.
With just 48 hours left in the transfer window, there is little prospect of Liverpool receiving an acceptable bid and Dalglish would never sanction a deal which would reduce his attacking options.
Although Luis Suarez will return from his eight-game suspension against Spurs next weekend, Liverpool have been trying to sign another striker having struggled for goals in their top four pursuit.
It is expected Liverpool will review the Carroll situation in the summer, although if he is sold it is inevitable the club will suffer a significant loss given his dip in valuation.
Tevez’s advisors insist there was no attempt from anyone at Liverpool to sound out if the South American would be prepared to move to Anfield. If they had, such a suggestion would have been rebuffed anyway.
Jan 31, 2011
Liverpool’s bid of £35m is accepted. Carroll will wear No 9 shirt left by Fernando Torres. He has to wait until March for debut because of a thigh-muscle tear he had when he signed.
Scores his first goals for his new club, a superb double in a 3-0 home win over Manchester City. Ends campaign with three goals in 10 appearances for Liverpool.
Fabio Capello tells Carroll he “needs to improve, to drink less”.
Jan 29, 2012
Big things expected in 2011-12 campaign, but he has scored four goals in 27 games this season. Reports that Liverpool have offered him to City in a proposed swap with Carlos Tévez.