Liverpool have rejected a Newcastle United bid to take Andy Carroll on a season-long loan but are willing to listen to offers for a permanent deal.
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Newcastle only offered to pay a small part of the striker's £80,000-a-week wages in their offer, which was made with a view to a permanent switch at a specified price next summer.
That deal was not appealing to Liverpool, but Anfield sources have indicated that the club would be willing to sell Carroll if an "attractive" offer was tabled. They would also take a hit on the £35 million they paid to Newcastle 18 months ago.
Whether the Magpies will be willing to return with a new offer for Carroll, who has failed to live up to his hefty price tag since leaving St James' Park, remains to be seen.
West Ham and Aston Villa were also interested in loan deals, but the short-term option does not appear to be one Liverpool want to consider.
New Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has already strengthened his attack with the signing of Roma striker Fabio Borini last week. The arrival of Rodgers at Anfield has seemingly ushered Carroll towards the exit door amid claims that the 6ft 3in striker would not fit in with his pass-and-move style of play.
Newcastle have no immediate need to strengthen in the striking department, although they spent the early part of the summer wooing FC Twente's Luuk de Jong before deciding that the asking price was too much.
However, the release clause in Demba Ba's contract makes him vulnerable to offers - at least until the end of this month -although boss Alan Pardew insisted last week that there had been no contact with any club over any of his key men.
But Ba and Papiss Cisse could be required by Senegal for the African Nations Cup while Leon Best and Peter Lovenkrands have left the club, meaning reinforcements will be required at some point.
Carroll's departure for Liverpool sparked a furious reaction in the north-east as the player around whom it seemed likely that the team would be assembled was allowed to leave.
Newcastle had little intention of selling him until the final few hours of the transfer window, when Liverpool made an offer they simply could not refuse.