Andy Carroll is on the verge of completing a permanent move to West Ham in a deal that could cost the east London club up to £46m.
A club-record £15m transfer fee has been agreed with Liverpool and the striker has flown back from holiday in the United States to finalise the switch.
The Evening Standard reports that the England striker will be offered a six-year deal worth £100,000-a-week. Should the 24-year-old see out his contract then he will cost the club £31m in wages. Together with his fee, it means a potential outlay of £46m for a player who scored seven goals in 25 appearances while on loan at the club last season.
In view of his previous injury problems, Carroll was due to undergo an extensive medical and the deal could be finalised as early as tomorrow.
It will mean a big loss for Liverpool who paid Newcastle a British record £35m for the striker just two and a half years ago. However, as soon as Brendan Rodgers arrived at Anfield last summer, it became clear Carroll had no future on Merseyside.
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce made signing Carroll permanently his priority during the close season and will be delighted the deal is close to being finalised after extensive talks.
Allardyce wants at least one more striker following the departure of Carlton Cole and has been linked with Tottenham’s Emmanuel Adebayor.
In view of the finance involved in the Carroll transfer, though, it is thought likely the Upton Park club would only be interested in a loan deal for Adebayor.
West Ham are expected to sign Stockport midfielder Danny Whitehead after the teenager impressed on trial last season while striker Robert Hall is wanted by Bolton and Nottingham Forest.