ANDY Carroll remains on the agenda at Newcastle United, but there is a feeling the chances of a return to St James’ Park may have passed.
The Journal understands the England striker – who returned to scoring form at Upton Park last week – is still a name under consideration this summer but the terms of any deal would have to be right for United.
Carroll has three big fans at Newcastle in Graham Carr, Derek Llambias and Alan Pardew, which means a comeback cannot be discounted.
With Sam Allardyce desperate to make his transfer to West Ham permanent, however, Liverpool – who say they might bring him back to Anfield – are in a stronger position than they were last summer.
Newcastle’s priority over the summer is to add another goalscoring forward to the ranks to supplement Papiss Cissé and Yoan Gouffran, who has proved an astute cut-price buy for United.
At the moment they are training their attention on Pierre Aubemeyang, Mike Ashley’s presence in France last weekend an indication he is probably the priority target.
United have several names on their list, however, with Carroll – as always, keen to return to the North East if possible – one of them.
With England experience, the right age profile and potential resale value, Newcastle will consider a bid.
Claims of Liverpool interest in Hatem Ben Arfa are not far from the truth either, but Newcastle would be unwilling sellers.
Last year they quoted every interested buyer £25million for their players and Ben Arfa is seen as one of the key men in the French revolution reshaping Newcastle, so Liverpool may quickly find their interest thwarted
Carroll, though, remains a topic of debate among the many Premier League managers who have professed their admiration for the big number nine.
Allardyce said: “What we got last week is what we’ve been waiting for for a while. We saw him in full flight.
“Andy can’t play against Liverpool but I think he’s great.
“We might have a chance. We’ll wait and see when all the budgets are sorted out.”