Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Entering the Chase Would Prove Board; Hammers May Be in the Box Seat for Toon Old Boy, But

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Entering the Chase Would Prove Board; Hammers May Be in the Box Seat for Toon Old Boy, But

Article excerpt

Byline: MARK DOUGLAS

WEST Ham have blinked first in the bid to land big Andy Carroll. What Newcastle United do next will tell us plenty about the club's determination to resolve their poor form over the summer.

Forget, for a minute, that Carroll remains a bit of a Marmite figure among United fans. While it seems the majority want him back in black and white, some are not sold on it being a forward move to go back to a player who left nearly two years ago.

The fact is that Newcastle DO like Carroll, and have said as much publicly. Alan Pardew has made no secret of his desire to be reunited with a player that he wishes he had worked with for longer - and even as far back as November last year he was talking up United's interest in the striker.

So if Newcastle enter the race, it will say plenty about their desire to back Pardew and also to secure the readymade goalscorer they have been crying out for in recent months.

The Hammers are in pole position, of course, by virtue of Carroll having been at Upton Park all season. Sam Allardyce (pictured right) might not be a popular figure in these parts, but you can't deny the fact that the England number nine has looked reborn in recent weeks, even earning himself a recall to the national side.

Combine that with the fact Carroll has stayed out of the gossip pages and melted into the background while in London, and there are plenty of reasons why he might want to continue his East End education.

But Newcastle holds a sway over Carroll, and he has plenty of friends in influential places at St James' Park. Selling him was business, not personal, and the club were deadly serious when they tried to bring him back last summer.

The problem was that they tried to do it on their terms, which became a sad refrain in the 2012 close season. Time and time again United proved unbendable in their negotiations, and they ended up with none of the marquee names that they tabled bids for. …

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