WEST Ham have edged closer to signing Andy Carroll – but Newcastle United could yet make a move for the striker.
The Upton Park club yesterday agreed a £15m fee with Liverpool for the 24-year-old, who yesterday withdrew from the England squad to play the Republic of Ireland and Brazil due to injury.
However, Newcastle are understood to have inserted a 25 per cent sell-on clause into the £35m deal that took Carroll to Anfield in January, 2011.
And that could yet prove crucial should the club choose to make a move for the England international, who has spent the past season on loan at Upton Park after being deemed surplus to requirements by Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers.
To match West Ham’s offer, Newcastle would technically only have to table a bid of £11.25m.
Magpies manager Alan Pardew – who last week admitted he would be interested in signing Carroll (left) this summer “should he become available” – is involved in a two-day meeting with owner Mike Ashley and managing director Derek Llambias this week.
Ashley is conducting a thorough inquest into United’s disappointing Premier League season.
Pardew, hopeful he will keep his job, is confident they can a agree a plan to take the club forward next season, with the 51-year-old believing his squad, with the addition of “two or three” players, could again challenge for a top-six place.
With Demba Ba – who left Newcastle for Chelsea in January – having not been replaced, the club’s summer priority is a striker, though finding a replacement for captain and defensive lynchpin Fabricio Coloccini, should he leave, would be a huge challenge.
With the discussions also encompassing the club’s transfer plans, it would be inconceivable that Carroll’s name was not mentioned.
Carroll, meanwhile, is considering West Ham’s offer.
The Gateshead-born player could wait until United’s position becomes clearer before making a decision on his future, which seems certain to lie away from Liverpool.
With next season leading up to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, it’s potentially a huge campaign for Carroll, who is keen to become a regular under England coach Roy Hodgson.
To do that, he needs to be playing week-in, week-out, and Carroll clearly doesn’t fit into Rodgers’ plans.
“I’ve enjoyed every minute of being here,” Carroll told West Ham’s website. “I’ve just tried to play my best in every match, score goals and keep myself fit once I got back from the injuries I had, and then push on from there.
“I’ve worked hard to get myself back in the England squad, trying to play my best for West Ham, so I’m really pleased about that.
“I have had a great season here at West Ham. Everyone has been so welcoming to me. This is a great club.”
The Hammers, meanwhile, completed their first transfer of the post-season after signing Romanian international full-back Razvan Rat on a free transfer.
The 31-year-old will join the east Londoners on July 1 on a one year deal, when his contract with his current employers, Shakhtar Donetsk ends.
One man on the way out, however, is Carlton Cole whose contract expires at the end of June and he believes he will be playing his football elsewhere next season.