Rafael Benitez is keeping his cards close to his chest in regards to Newcastle United’s link with striker Andy Carroll.
The Magpies sold the England international to Liverpool in January 2011 for £35million, but he has struggled with form and fitness ever since. His spell on Merseyside was a disappointing one, and he is now plying his trade for West Ham United where he has faced a seemingly constant battle with injury.
Since linking up with the Hammers, initially on loan in the summer of 2012, Carroll has played just 98 times in the Premier League, scoring 30 goals. His contract is set to run until the end of next season, but it is widely felt that his employers are prepared to listen to offers for his signature beforehand.
According to The Mirror, Benitez is considering offering the 28-year-old a return to St James’ Park on what would initially be a season-long loan deal. However, the Spaniard is refusing to engage in such speculation, although it is clear his side need something following a second successive defeat on Sunday.
“There’s no news,” he said. “I haven’t read the newspapers, we have to wait. Obviously we are working behind the scenes trying to do things. I am sure we can improve. Does the team have goals in it? Yes, I think so. I think we will improve, and we will create more chances and score goals, for sure.”
Newcastle lost their first game of the season 2-0 to Tottenham Hotspur, but had hoped to bounce back when they travelled to fellow new-boys Huddersfield Town. But Aaron Mooy’s goal condemned Benitez’s pointless team to another loss ahead of the visit of the Hammers next weekend.
As it stands, Carroll is unlikely to shrug off his groin injury to face his boyhood club, who have also suffered back-to-back defeats in their first two games. After a 4-0 drubbing at Manchester United Slaven Bilic’s side battled back from 2-0 down at Southampton, before Charlie Austin’s late penalty goal.