NEWCASTLE United intend to mount another summer bid for Andy Carroll as they prepare a summer overhaul of their attacking arsenal.
West Ham’s admission that they cannot afford to put together a package for the England striker in the summer has effectively kick-started the battle for Carroll’s signature, with Newcastle becoming increasingly confident that they can persuade him to return.
The Journal understands that United are looking to recruit two strikers in the summer to supplement Papiss Cisse, with St Etienne’s Pierre-Emerick Aubeyemang another of their priority targets.
The club had an offer in excess of £8m turned down in January but are in dialogue with the player’s agent. With plenty of interest in the striker, they are waiting to hear whether he favours a move to England but would be willing to meet St Etienne’s valuation of around £10.3m.
Carroll (pictured) provides another compelling option and there is a belief in the Magpies camp that Liverpool may be more willing to do a deal this summer than last year, when they flat-batted an offer from Newcastle.
It was felt that politics and PR played their part in that close season because the Reds board did not want to be seen to take such a huge loss on a player that had spent £35m on just 18 months before – but the goalposts have moved since then and Newcastle hope that favours them.
Their cordial relations with the player will certainly help. Privately, Carroll is understood to have stated his preference to come back to Tyneside, but knows it is up to Newcastle and Liverpool to thrash out a deal.
United will open the bidding at around £7m but have the money that was intended to sign Loic Remy available, which was understood to be around £10m. United’s approach to recruitment is famously collective, with Alan Pardew, Derek Llambias and chief scout Graham Carr all having an input.
Carroll would tick every box for Newcastle with his age, value and possible sell-on value all making him a typical United signing in the Mike Ashley era.
Pardew would certainly be keen to have a player like Carroll available to him once again, with the feeling that he may open up more possible routes of attack for Newcastle next season.
They will battle on until the end of this campaign with only Shola Ameobi, Yoan Gouffran and Cisse as their senior striking options. Moussa Sissoko has acted as a number ten since his move in January but that was only ever intended as a temporary move.
Whatever happens there is set to be a complete overhaul in the close season with several fringe men moved on and the likely departure of Fabricio Coloccini creating space for a new-look team. Pardew will also be given the green light to restructure it, with the United hierarchy intent on stability and backing their manager.
Signing Carroll would be viewed as quite a coup – and proof that United’s planning for the financial fair play era has reaped rewards. By contrast, Sam Allardyce complained on Monday that the new regulations would not favour West Ham’s attempts to land Carroll. He said: “Financially you are restricted to be able to do it. So in one fell swoop the financial restrictions mean Andy Carroll can’t sign for us from Liverpool because it’s too expensive, even if he wanted to.
“Somebody will have a bigger budget than us somewhere. I might not be able to afford Andy Carroll, full stop, even if I wanted him, even if the chairmen wanted him, even if we all wanted him, which we do, it will not be allowed to happen.”