Liverpool look to loan deal to avoid £20m hit on Carroll


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The Independent Online

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

A £10m Newcastle bid to buy Carroll, pictured, back cannot be ruled out, particularly if Demba Ba triggers a release clause in his contract, as Liverpool have a long-standing interest in the Senegal forward. Newcastle's pursuit of the FC Twente striker Luuk de Jong has fizzled out, with the Dutchman heading for Borussia Mönchengladbach.

The Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers, is looking for a player to carry out an attacking role from midfield, something only Steven Gerrard is capable of in the current squad. There has, however, been no approach to Fulham for Clint Dempsey. With Liverpool's and Fulham's valuations of him likely to differ considerably, Dempsey is a player to whom Rodgers may return later this summer if other attempts to strengthen his attack fail.

Rodgers, who wants to conclude two signings this week, has said he will give Carroll the chance, during Liverpool's pre-season tour, to prove himself. However, Rodgers' interest in Roma's Fabio Borini and Dempsey suggests he is looking elsewhere.

Rodgers has made clear he wants to give a chance to young players who did not prosper at Anfield under Kenny Dalglish. The club announced a new contract yesterday for 20-year-old Jonjo Shelvey, who has made 37 appearances since joining from Charlton in May 2010.

Roma confirmed Liverpool's desire to buy Borini. "There is a real interest," said the sporting director Walter Sabatini. "We are evaluating the situation with [general manager] Franco [Baldini]."

Rodgers says he has made contact with Luis Suarez, who is interesting Juventus. "We have exchanged lots of texts," Rodgers said. "He sent me a text on the first morning, wishing me luck. He has really bought in to what we are trying to do. He was excited about how we played at Swansea last year. He is really keen and looking forward to playing in a similar sort of model."

On an extension to Suarez's contract, which runs to 2016, Rodgers said: "There has been good dialogue. I would hope we can close that out."

He also suggested Martin Skrtel's questions about the club's ambitions had been answered and that Daniel Agger also wanted to stay.