Andy Carroll has become something of a bizarro Robin van Persie, holding on tight to a club that by all accounts do not seem to want him around.
Just like RvP, though, Carroll's future is highly uncertain.
With van Persie, we're seeing a classic case of a want-away star player. After scoring a league-high 30 goals for Arsenal last season, the 28-year-old Dutch international announced in July that he would not sign a new contract with the North London club (RobinvanPersie.com).
His current deal expires after the 2012-13 season, and those two facts have combined to fuel intense speculation over RvP's future.
With Carroll, it's entirely different, yet somehow similar.
Carroll's disappointing form has mirrored that of his club. Liverpool parted ways with manager Kenny Dalglish following the 2011-12 campaign, in which the Reds finished eighth in the English Premier League.
Rodgers' arrival heralded a new era at Anfield, an era that seemingly has little use for Carroll. A big target man who's strong in the air, Carroll wouldn't seem to fit with Rodgers' preferred style of surface-of-the-pitch passing.
As Carroll's former club, Newcastle makes sense as a potential destination. The Magpies finished fifth in the league last season and will return to European competition this season.
West Ham, however, is another story.
Liverpool reportedly accepted West Ham's offer—£2 million up front for a season-long loan and a potential £17 million more at the end of the season if the Hammers remain in the Premier League—but Carroll rejected the move.
ESPNSoccernet explains why:
[I]t is understood that Carroll is only willing to play for a club that is competing in European competition, and Newcastle United, who had earlier seen a bid rejected, would be his preferred destination if he is forced to leave Anfield.
The story didn't end there. The Sun reported Wednesday that West Ham have offered Carroll "a mind-boggling £36 million contract." The deal would pay Carroll his current salary of £90,000 per week for eight years.
It's unknown whether such an offer would convince Carroll. But should it?
If any of the reports are to be believed, Carroll is not wanted at Liverpool. It's possible that Newcastle want him back, but West Ham clearly have a strong interest.
What's more, Carroll would get a fresh start at West Ham, where he would almost certainly receive extensive playing time. It's doubtful he would play as much this season at Liverpool or even Newcastle.
On the other hand, Carroll is a full England international, and he does have a contract. Carroll is therefore entitled to stay if that is what he wants.
So what do you think, B/R community? Should Carroll go to West Ham, go to Newcastle or stay where he is?
Let me know in the comments section, and vote in the poll at right.