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Liverpool Transfer News: Reds Must Keep Options Open for Andy Carroll

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02: Andy Carroll of West Ham United reacts during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Swansea at the Boleyn Ground on February 2, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)
Steve Bardens/Getty Images
Dan TalintyreSenior Analyst IIApril 7, 2013

Liverpool striker Andy Carroll will once again enter the summer transfer window under a cloud of speculation with his playing future again uncertain.

The Reds will reportedly look to sell off their former marquee striker this summer (per The Telegraph), having signed him for an astronomical £35 million transfer fee in 2011. But they are seemingly uncertain as to whether or not they'll be able to get a substantial price in return for him.

The Telegraph reports that West Ham are in prime position to sign the striker, with part of their loan deal for Carroll giving them the option to sign him for £17 million, if they desire. That is, of course, assuming they avoid relegation, which they appear extremely likely to avoid.

Whilst it might seem like Brendan Rodgers has closed the book on Carroll—bringing in a number of attacking platters to change the attacking system of Liverpool—the Reds must still keep their options when it comes to Carroll in 2013. Especially if the Hammers baulk at the thought of spending big money on a player that has gone largely unproven in the Premier League.

The Reds tried to see what interest they could get for the England international over the winter transfer window but didn't find a whole lot of interest in return.

Should a similar thing take place this summer (with the Reds unable to sell Carroll for a decent transfer fee), they need to make sure that they haven't closed themselves off to the thought of keeping the striker. After all, he is under contract at the club until 2016 (per Transfermarkt) and may well struggle to attract anything more than £15 million given his performances to date.

Especially given the recent remarks from Rodgers, who was adamant that Carroll would not be sold on the cheap this summer, regardless of the effects.

Per the Daily Mail:

It’s absolutely the case that, just the same as last season, If the player does leave then it won’t be for nothing. He came here for an astronomical fee which was no fault of his own, so we will see what happens in the summer.

There is no doubt Andy has qualities—some of his goals from set plays with West Ham have proven that.

With Liverpool's system built around the Luis Suarez-Daniel Sturridge relationship, it seems that Carroll's days of playing as the front man at Anfield are numbered. As a result, it seems he will likely see the Reds try and sell him off this summer.

Yet the Reds cannot afford to leave Carroll out of their plans entirely if they're going to look for a substantial transfer fee in return for him. 

The lack of interest thus far shows just how difficult that may be for the Merseyside club over the summer transfer window.

The Reds don't have to keep Carroll if the interest is there, and they most certainly shouldn't change their system once more to suit the England international. 

But they must be careful not to close off the thought of keeping the 24-year-old on their books for another six months or an entire season as they look to attract a substantial transfer fee in return.

A very interesting transfer storyline to follow this summer.

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