Liverpool transfer focus - Carroll continues to be linked with Anfield exit
Newly-promoted Premier League side West Ham United are the latest team to express an interest in taking Liverpool striker Andy Carroll away from Anfield on a season-long loan, with a view to making the transfer permanent.
Former Newcastle forward Carroll, who joined the Reds for a staggering £35m just 18 months ago, has been the subject of interest from a number of teams in recent weeks. However, while new Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has refused to suggest Carroll is firmly part of his plans for the coming season, he has admitted that a loan bid would not be welcome.
Newcastle also offered to take Carroll on loan a couple of weeks ago but that proposal was not deemed to be suitable by the Reds, who are reportedly holding out for £20m for the towering forward. The Guardian suggests that West Ham are willing to hand Liverpool a £2m loan fee with a view to paying another £16m to make the move permanent should they manage to survive in the Premier League. It remains to be seen whether such a move would interest the player or his club.
Carroll still divides opinion on Merseyside. Some fans believe that Liverpool should cut their losses and replace the England target man who has struggled to make much of an impact at Anfield so far in his Reds career. Others, encouraged by Carroll’s improved form towards the end of the last campaign and during the European Championships, feel that he should be given a chance to impress Rodgers. Carroll himself is reported to be unhappy with being linked with a move away from his current club, and is instead determined to prove that he can be a success at Liverpool.
Meanwhile, reports in the national media suggest that Rodgers has made a bid for Swansea’s Joe Allen. The young Welsh midfielder is a top target for Liverpool this summer and according to the BBC, the Reds have offered £12m plus Jonjo Shelvey on loan for a season. This bid was rejected, with the Swans holding out for around £15m. Tottenham Hotspur, who snatched Gylfi Sigurdsson from under the noses of Liverpool earlier this summer, are also thought to be interest in Allen.
Swansea, however, were angered by the approach. According to the Press Association, a club spokesman said: "Swansea can confirm that Liverpool have expressed an interest in Joe Allen, despite a written agreement with Liverpool not to approach any players within the 12-month period of former manager Brendan Rodgers leaving for Anfield."
The spokesman added: "Fortunately the club is in a financial position where it does not need to sell any of its players and will continue to work in the best interests of its supporters, who are our priority, and the club to provide new manager Michael Laudrup with the best opportunity to be successful in the forthcoming Premier League campaign."
It remains to be seen whether other clubs bidding for Allen would enable Liverpool to make a more comfortable approach for the 22-year-old.
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