Newcastle United won’t rush Carroll chase

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NEWCASTLE are ready to play the long game in their pursuit of Andy Carroll.

The Magpies are in no hurry to improve their offer to Liverpool for the striker, whose Anfield career is all but over.

But Newcastle are confident of quicker progress elsewhere, with a £3million bid tabled for Twente defender Douglas.

The 24-year-old is a long-time target, though any deal would be complicated by his need to stay in Holland until late August to gain Dutch citizenship.

Newcastle, however, are prepared to work round this issue.

A deal for Carroll could prove more complicated still for the Tynesiders, who have sounded out Liverpool about a season-long loan with a view to a permanent £13.5m deal.

New Kop chief Brendan Rodgers and the bulk of his squad are on a pre-season tour of the United States, and it remains to be seen whether Carroll, given an extended break after his involvement at Euro 2012 with England, flies out over the weekend.

The 23-year-old could instead stay behind while his future is resolved. However, Newcastle do not seem in a rush to return with an improved offer for Carroll, who is known to be keen on a return to the North East.

Liverpool reportedly want £20m for Carroll, who moved to Anfield in a £35m deal in January last year. However, that figure looks unrealistic, and Newcastle are confident of driving a harder bargain over the coming weeks.

Striker Demba Ba has been linked with Liverpool as a possible swap in a bid for Carroll.

Meanwhile, Magpie target Mathieu Debuchy has again signalled his unhappiness with French club Lille, who are blocking a move for the 26-year-old right-back until they sign a replacement.

Another player interesting Newcastle, Vurnon Antia, has reportedly told Ajax he wants to leave.

H Claudio Ranieri is tipping Newcastle to again challenge his former club Chelsea for a Champions League place this season.

Ranieri’s Monaco lost 1-0 to Newcastle on Monday, and the Italian – whose team had previously been unbeaten in pre-season – said: “They play very, very well and it is good football, and they can get better. They have a chance of top four.”

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