Alan Pardew has warned Liverpool they will have to face a substantial loss if the club want to sell the former Newcastle United striker Andy Carroll.
The new Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has hinted that the 23-year-old England international may not form part of his plans at Anfield, prompting his Newcastle counterpart to launch a bid to bring him back to Tyneside, initially on loan and then permanently – but for a fraction of the £35m they sold him to Liverpool for.
Liverpool insist Carroll will not be allowed to go out on loan and are understood to be holding out for around £20m with West Ham and Fulham in the frame for his signature.
Pardew said: "[The Reading chairman] John Madejski used to say to me about certain players, 'Just wipe your nose and move on', and I think [Liverpool] are going to have to do that with Andy. I think it was obvious as soon as Brendan went into Liverpool that Andy's time was going to have to be somewhere else. I think it's quite right we're involved in that.
"Whether he comes here is something that I will take or I will leave. It's a lot of money for Mike [Ashley, Newcastle owner], although we'll obviously be getting a big upside in terms of what we sold him for, and we've got three great strikers here already. But of course as the manager, I want the best players I can get."
Part of the fee Newcastle received for Carroll was used to replace him with Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse, who scored 29 goals between them last season.
They have been linked with a series of striking targets this summer including Carroll, Luuk de Jong and Loïc Rémy, but the position is complicated by a release clause in Ba's contract.
Rodgers's former club Swansea confirmed yesterday that Liverpool had made an approach for their midfielder Joe Allen, while Steven Gerrard spoke of his excitement at the prospect of working under the new manager. Ahead of the pre-season friendly against Roma in Boston, the club captain said: "It's an exciting new era for the players. All we can do is give him our full support and work as hard as we can to make his job easier.
Liverpool parted company with Kenny Dalglish after winning the Carling Cup and reaching the FA Cup final but finishing only eighth in the Premier League. "We had two big cup finals last year," Gerrard said, "and there is certainly a platform there for this team to grow and improve. And with our new manager and coaching staff in place, it's an exciting time."