Andy Carroll has been much maligned since completing a £35million move to Liverpool from Newcastle in January 2011, and a sensational return to the North East now looks possible for the England striker.
Carroll’s switch to Anfield raised many eyebrows 18 months ago, not least due to the hefty fee he commanded after a blistering first half to the campaign with Newcastle.
The striker went on to score only twice during the second half of the season on Merseyside however, and despite a breakthrough to the England side, many still believe the fee paid was disproportionate for someone of Carroll’s ability.
Now though, under the new regime of Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool could be set to recoup some of the astronomical outlay they made on the powerful forward.
Fabio Borini’s arrival at Merseyside represents more readily the type of aesthetically pleasing player Rodgers enjoys utilising, and Carroll’s style of play could prove unappealing to the Northern Irishman.
Newcastle’s interest has become evident by their firm enquiry regarding Carroll’s availability on loan, but the rejection of that bid could now lead to an eventual cash offer from the Toon Army.
Somewhat surprisingly, Newcastle enjoyed a better season than Liverpool in terms of league standing last term, as a fifth place finish ensured Europa League qualification for the Magpies.
Boss Alan Pardew is keen to strengthen in preparation for his sides’ upcoming European campaign, and sees Carroll as an ideal foil for strikers Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse.
He has also expressed an interest in FC Twente striker Luuk De Jong, but would prefer to seal the return of the homegrown Carroll if at all possible.
His wish could come to fruition initially on a loan basis, with a view to a £15million transfer being completed after a year.
West Ham and Aston Villa are thought to represent the most serious competition for Carroll’s signature, but a return to the North East would likely be preferred by the Gateshead-born powerhouse.