The return of Liverpool striker Andy Carroll to Newcastle United transfer rumour has gone full circle this week. Taking place purely in the imagination of newspaper journalists, Liverpool were said to be willing to let Carroll go for £20 million, but that Newcastle would only stump up £10m for a player that they sold for £35m less than 12 months ago. Liverpool then said they weren’t interested in selling and Newcastle didn’t want to buy; so is that the end of the rumour? Of course not, as until the January transfer window slams shut Carroll will be linked with a return to St James’ Park and as chairman Mike Ashley is always sniffing out a good deal, then there’s a potential swap deal that might just get him interested.
Ashley works off a pretty simply business plan; buy players on the cheap and sell them for a big profit. Although Carroll was already at the club, he made sure that when he did leave it would be for a humongous fee. In the summer Demba Ba was brought into the club on a free transfer; 6 months and 15 Premier League goals later and his value is in excess of £10m and probably even closer to £20m. This of course could all change dependent on whether the Senegal striker does have a release clause of around £7m in his contract, which following on from Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp’s various comments throughout the week, we’re none the wiser to knowing whether that exists or not. However, given that his knee is a ‘ticking time bomb’, his rise in value is still pretty remarkable.
Working on the proviso that there is no straight forward release clause, Mike Ashley is in a position of power when it comes to Demba Ba. He’s the most wanted striker in the Premier League right now and the cash signs will be lighting up in Ashley’s eyes. Manchester United and Spurs are both reportedly interested, but Liverpool have shown that they’re not afraid to spend big to get their man. They could even be tempted to part with a certain Andy Carroll and sizeable sum of cash to get him. Sell Carroll for £35m in 2011, throw Ba into the deal and get him back in 2012 with some money on the side; sounds like the perfect deal for Newcastle, doesn’t it?
I’m not one to throw a spanner in the works, but Ba being on international duty at the African Cup on Nations could be a hindrance, as could the fact that Liverpool say there’s no truth in the stories stating that they want rid of Carroll. But hey, never let the truth get in the way of a good transfer rumour! Don’t be surprised if you see Ashley selling Demba Ba in exchange for Andy Carroll and a bit of change before January’s up.