NEWCASTLE United are trying to re-sign Andy Carroll for a incredible knockdown fee of £12million.
The Journal can reveal that United have made an audacious bid to sign Carroll on a initial season-long loan with a fee and permanent deal in place at the end of the campaign.
Newcastle are determined to sign the striker but fear Liverpool will turn down the initial bid – and Anfield sources last night suggested that they were set to reject the Magpies’ offer.
United’s first offer was described as “tentative” but Newcastle’s interest in bringing Carroll back is very real, and has been the subject of discussions at the top level ever since it became clear that he is not in Reds boss Brendan Rodgers’ plans.
We understand that the initial valuation that Newcastle have of Carroll is £12million – just over a third of the £35million that Liverpool paid to take him from St James’ Park in January 2011.
United are known to play hard-ball in the transfer market and may go higher if Liverpool indicate a deal could be done. Even for a hierarchy that pride themselves on their ability to drive a hard bargain, a £12million transfer would represent a spectacular deal for the club.
There remain some sizeable obstacles before it actually happens though, with Newcastle fully aware that Liverpool will be reluctant to absorb such a huge loss on the player. His wages also dwarf what he was earning at Newcastle and it is unclear whether United would be prepared to match them if he did come back to Tyneside.
United remain confident a loan could materialise, but are also hoping that Carroll’s desire to return to the North East will help them as they try to broker a sensational transfer.
West Ham United are also interested in the England forward but his long history but Newcastle are trying to capitalise on the player’s obvious homesickness, and the fact that the approach was made public may help to turn Carroll’s head.
Although Newcastle are in Germany for the first part of their pre-season, Derek Llambias is still in the UK and is due to hold one of his regular meetings with Mike Ashley on transfer business this week. Carroll’s name is sure to come up in those discussions.
Newcastle have always been careful to maintain a good relationship with Carroll, even though his £35m transfer to Liverpool upset United fans.
When he was booed by travelling supporters at Anfield a few months after the shock switch, Llambias used his programme notes to condemn the fans who had subjected him to abuse.
And Magpies boss Alan Pardew has consistently praised the striker in public – even when he was going through a long lean spell in front of goal for his new club.
Back in January there were stories that Newcastle would like to re-sign Carroll, and although they were furiously denied by Llambias at the time, there was substance to the story.
It was never likely to happen while Kenny Dalglish was manager, but the appointment of Rodgers – who immediately signed Roma’s Fabio Borini to provide competition for his £35m man – has paved the way for a move.
Carroll, who enjoyed a successful Euro 2012 with England, is due back for pre-season a week on Monday after being granted extra leave by Liverpool.
Meanwhile, reports that Newcastle are closing in on a £7m move for Mathieu Debuchy appear to have jumped the gun slightly. Debuchy is on holiday and, while United are in negotiations with Lille, work still needs to be done on the deal.