Brendan Rodgers has left an air of mystery over the future of £35 million striker Andy Carroll amid reports that AC Milan are preparing a loan bid for the England striker.
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Carroll endured a testing first year at Anfield, often struggling to hold down a first-team spot as he failed to live up to his hefty price tag. A brief upturn in form towards the end of the season saw Carroll selected for England's Euro 2012 squad, but it remains to be seen if he fits into Rodgers' passing style of football.
"He's a good player, Andy. He'll always be linked to clubs whether he's here or not," Rodgers said during Monday's press conference. "I spoke to Andy on his holidays, and he knows where he stands.
"I've spoke to a lot of the players and he's a very good young player. He'll be linked to many clubs because he's a good player. "I haven't had anything from them [Milan]."
Asked directly if Carroll is a big part of his future plans at Liverpool, Rodgers replied: "Initially it's about assessing the squad, you never know until you come in. The pre-season is broken up due to the European Championship.
"But certainly come the start of the season I hope to have the squad that I can take through. It's a case of building a squad that can compete at the top of the table."