Andy Carroll set for Newcastle United return?

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NEWCASTLE United have been linked with an audacious move to re-sign Andy Carroll – but any deal is fraught with difficulties.

Reports today claimed that the Magpies are prepared to offer homesick Carroll an escape route from Liverpool, where he has struggled for form since his stunning £35million move last January.

The 22-year-old hitman has only found the net five times for the Reds, who broke the British transfer record to land him in a controversial swoop 12 months ago.

There were claims today that Newcastle are ready to offer between £10m-£15m to bring the Geordie home.

But even if Newcastle were prepared to stump up that kind of money for Carroll – more than owner Mike Ashley has splashed out on any player since he took charge – it is doubtful whether Liverpool would be willing to make such a massive loss in just a year.

Reds boss Kenny Dalglish has staunchly defended the striker despite his poor run of form, and it would take a huge climbdown from the Scot to see Carroll leave Anfield.

A further obstacle is that Carroll would have to take a 50 per cent cut in wages from his estimated £90,000-a-week salary to fit in with Newcastle’s pay structure.

Magpie boss Alan Pardew went on the record last month, saying he would welcome Carroll back, but it seems unlikely that a deal could be completed in this transfer window.

Pardew insisted last month that Newcastle were not looking to sign a striker after the collapse of Modibo Maiga’s move from Sochaux when he failed a medical, but that stance appears to have altered slightly, with Paris St Germain’s Mevlut Erdinc linked with a move to Tyneside again.

The Turk wants to leave PSG, whose new boss is ex-Chelsea chief Carlo Ancelotti. Newcastle are believed to be scouting a number of strikers in France’s top flight with an eye on the summer transfer window.

H Newcastle striker Sammy Ameobi is doubtful for Sunday’s home game against QPR.

The 20-year-old limped out of yesterday’s 3-1 reserve win over Wigan with a knee injury.

Ameobi suffered the problem when he slid in to a 50-50 challenge in the second half, and after initially attempting to play on, he was quickly forced off the field.

Newcastle won with goals from Remie Streete, sub Brad Inman and debutant striker Jason Prior, who netted a well-taken third while on trial from Ryman League club Bognor Regis.

Reserve coach Willie Donachie said of Prior: “I don’t know if he’s going to be good enough for Newcastle, but there was a lot of scouts there, and hopefully somebody will see that he’s got to be better than the level he’s playing at.”