Belfast Telegraph

Rodgers will find it hard to sell Andy Carroll

By Ian Herbert

Liverpool would have to accept a cut-price £15m deal, at best, to sell Andy Carroll this summer and with no optimism at Anfield about him commanding even that kind of price, a loan deal is seen as a way of building up the price of a player whose £35m purchase was instrumental in the dismissal of the club’s former director of football, Damien Comolli.

A hit of more than 50% on the initial outlay to Newcastle would be punishing but that appears to be the best Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers can expect for the 23-year-old player in the transfer market this summer.

A £10m Newcastle United bid for the player cannot be ruled out, particularly if Demba Ba triggers the release clause in his own contract, with Liverpool a club that has had long-standing interest.

Rodgers is also looking for a player to carry out the attacking role from midfield that currently only Steven Gerrard is capable of. One possible option could be Fulham’s Clint Dempsey. Rodgers is a known admirer of the American.

The new boss, who wants to conclude two signings this week, has said he will give Carroll the chance, on the club’s pre-season tour, to prove his willingness to apply himself to the professional disciplines which are such an important part of his philosophy.

But his interest both in Roma’s Fabio Borini and Dempsey suggest he is looking elsewhere.

There was an unmistakable impression from Rodgers’ public discussion of his squad on Monday that he has already decided which players conform to his focused notions. And the club announced a new contract yesterday for 20-year-old Jonjo Shelvey, who has found himself on the fringes of the squad at Anfield since joining from Charlton in May 2010.

Ulsterman Rodgers has also said he has had frequent text contact with Luis Suarez, something he views as a good pointer towards fending off any attempt by Juventus to lure him to Serie A.

“We’ve exchanged lots of texts,” he said. “He has really bought in to what we are trying to do.”

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