Is Liverpool flop Andy Carroll on his way back to Newcastle?
Source 'close to the player' claims he wants to return to Magpies on a loan deal
AS BOMBSHELLS go it's a big one, but according to Talksport Liverpool striker Andy Carroll could be about to move back to Newcastle. The stunning claim involves Liverpool loaning Carroll to the Magpies for the rest of the season, a year after he made a £35m move to Anfield.
Since then Carroll's career has followed the same trajectory as another professional Geordie, former songbird Cheryl Cole, with the big frontman netting just five times for the Reds, a strike rate which works out at an average of £7m a goal.
Talksport attributes its exclusive to a "source close to the player" and says Carroll – who turns 23 on Friday – is angling for a move back to the north-east, having become "unsettled" on Merseyside. Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has made no secret of the fact he still covets Carroll and he admitted last week: "I'd take him back if I had the chance."
With Liverpool – who lost 3-0 to Manchester City on Tuesday evening – being linked with a move for Aston Villa striker Darren Bent this month, Talksport's scoop might well turn out to be true.
Another striker rumoured to be attracting Liverpool's interest is 21-year-old Twente frontman Luuk de Jong. The Dutch hitman hopes to be involved in this summer's Euro 2012 Championship and in an interview with Fifa.com, De Jong hinted that a move to England is on his radar.
"Every player has dreams," said De Jong, who's contracted to Twente for another two years. But with football contracts having as much credibility as the Greek economy it could be that De Jong is on his way to Liverpool later this month. Certainly that seems to be his hope, with the young striker saying: "The Premier League is a really nice competition... I'll see what comes my way."
David Beckham has decided not to join Paris Saint Germain - for family reasons. According to the BBC, one of many media organisations to carry the news, the 36-year-old former England midfielder has decided to sign on for another term with LA Galaxy, the club he joined from Real Madrid in 2007.
The BBC quotes PSG sporting director Leonardo as saying: "It's over. It's a shame but the welfare of his family in LA, the wish not to change everything in his life, weighed heavily."
The news should end months of speculation surrounding the future of Goldenballs, though the Metro wasted no time in claiming that Beckham might join Tottenham this month on a loan deal similar to the one that Thierry Henry has agreed with Arsenal. Such a deal would allow Beckham to turn out for the Lilywhites until the MLS season restarts in March.
Elsewhere the Mirror says that Gary Cahill's move to Chelsea is increasingly uncertain because of the player's reluctance to join the Blues. Apparently the 26-year-old Bolton defender wants more than Chelsea's initial £50,000-a-week package, while the England man is also seeking an insurance that he will have "a guaranteed first-team slot" at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea are said to be willing to negotiate on the wages but less so on the regular game time.
Finally, confusion reigns over Arsenal's alleged attempt to lure Lukas Podolski to the Emirates. The 26-year-old Cologne striker was quoted earlier in the week as saying he wanted to remain in Germany until at least the summer despite the attention of Gunners boss Arsene Wenger. But according to the Daily Mail, Podolski has refused to enter into contract negotiations with the club and this "could tempt Wenger into renewing his interest" in the £15m star.