NEWCASTLE United are ready to pay £13.5million to take Andy Carroll back to Tyneside – after having a loan bid rejected by Liverpool.
The England striker’s Anfield career is all but over following Brendan Rodgers’s appointment, and the Reds are understood to have made it known they would be willing to listen to offers for a permanent move.
And Carroll, faced with a season on the fringes at Anfield, is understood to be interested in returning to the Sports Direct Arena – just 18 months after departing for £35m.
Rodgers’ arrival has seemingly ushered Carroll towards the exit door with claims that the 6ft 3in striker does not fit in with the Irishman’s pass-and-move style of play.
Newcastle had been looking elsewhere to sign a forward, with a £10m bid for Luuk de Jong having been rejected by Twente.
The Magpies have no immediate need to strengthen their hand in the striking department, although the spectre of the release clause in Demba Ba’s contract hangs over Newcastle.
Ba and Papiss Cisse could be required by Senegal for January’s African Nations Cup, while Leon Best and Peter Lovenkrands have left the club, so reinforcements will be required at some point.
Tellingly, work on other targets has been put on hold while the Magpies await a response from Liverpool, who will have to take a huge financial hit with Carroll whatever his destination.
It is unclear at this stage how Carroll’s pay – the England international earns a reported £80,000-a-week – would fit into the Tynesiders’ tight wage structure.
Only captain Fabricio Coloccini has a wage approaching the figure that Carroll earns at Anfield.
A number of other clubs – including West Ham and AC Milan – are reportedly also keen on Carroll, who hit form late last season, scoring in the FA Cup Final, and impressed with England at Euro 2012.
Liverpool, under Rodgers, have already strengthened in attack following last week’s arrival of Roma striker Fabio Borini for around £7.9m.