Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has accused Newcastle of taking “a liberty” in their pursuit of Andy Carroll.

Andy Carroll: Newcastle bid 'a liberty' - Brendan Rodgers

Newcastle offered to take Carroll on a season-long loan deal in July, with a fixed £12m fee for a permanent transfer next summer.

But Rodgers said he would be a “nutcase” to allow the England striker to leave the club with only nine days of the transfer window left.

“To even consider wanting to take him on loan is a liberty,” Rodgers said.

Speaking ahead of Thursday’s Europa League tie against Heart of Midlothian at Tynecastle, Rodgers said Liverpool are extremely reluctant to sell Carroll back to Newcastle in a cut-price deal after buying the 23-year-old for a club-record £35m only 18 months ago.

“Absolutely no chance – and certainly not Newcastle,” Rodgers added. “Newcastle got £35m for this player last year.

“I need a minimum of three strikers. Once the window shuts, that is it until January. I have got Luis Suarez, Fabio Borini and Andy Carroll.

“I would need to be a nutcase to even consider letting Andy Carroll go at this moment.”

Carroll is struggling to be fit for the match after picking up a slight hamstring strain but Rodgers is keen for his striker to start, regardless of the speculation surrounding his future.

With Sunday’s visit of Manchester City in mind, Liverpool have rested Suarez, Steven Gerrard, Martin Skrtel and Glen Johnson for the game at Hearts.

“I have to protect some of my players,” said Rodgers.

“We have a massive game at the weekend. But I trust my players and trust the squad. I have no problems with changing the side around.”

Rodgers is equally adamant that he does not want to lose defender Daniel Agger, although Manchester City’s pursuit of the Denmark captain is cooling.

“I have never thought that I was going to lose Daniel,” Rodgers added. “He is fantastic in how he plays and how he functions. Secondly, he doesn’t want to go. I wouldn’t see us losing Daniel.”

BBC Sport