By Ed Harrison

After manager Alan Pardew had said last night, after the 2-0 defeat at Chelsea, that he didn’t think Andy Carroll would be returning to Newcastle, the Sunday Sun is reporting today that Alan Pardew still hopes Newcastle can bring big Andy home this week.

Carroll - Pardew Transfer Meeting This Week

Alan was asked whether a final last effort would be made this week for Andy Carroll, and this is what Alan said (this time): 

“That is above me, that deal. It’s a financial deal that will be done at board level – if Liverpool and us can agree.” “If you are asking me on a playing level would I like him in the squad then of course. It would be a nice dimension for us.”

“I will speak to Mike, Derek and Graham this week. We will decide whether there is something for us in the market. It depends upon how the market unfolds.” “There can be opportunities in the last week and we might take one.”

And just to contrast that with what we had reported earlier today, this is what Alan had said last night when asked if Andy was coming back to Newcastle:

“I don’t think so,” “We’re talking more of a younger player who could perhaps take the club forward. We’ve taken two or three younger players this season who have done very well for us.” “It depends if the price is right and everything fits the bill.”

We’re coming to the conclusion that even if Liverpool accept Newcastle’s offer of £13M to get Andy back, that’s still big money, and surely some younger strikers can be brought in for a much better deal, and they will have time to develop with our three top strikers not young – Papiss Cisse is 26, Demba Ba 27 and Shola Ameobi is 31 in October, and has injury problems a lot of the time.

The form of young Adam Campbell may be having an impact on the potential Carroll deal too, but Newcastle need a player who can come in and get the job done for Newcastle, and Newcastle just cannot rely on a young 17 year-old coming through.

And don’t forget that a young striker was initially the number one target this summer, since we have only three experienced strikers after Peter Lovenkrands and Leon Best both left the club,  but 21 year-old Luuk de Jung didn’t want to come to Newcastle.

We suppose the two statements from Alan Pardew above could be considered consistent – he doesn’t think Newcastle will bring Andy back but he would love to have him back in the squad.

But the decisions on these issues are made by Mike Ashley and Derek LLambias, and not by the manager, and as we have seen over the last couple of years, the value of a deal seems of paramount importance, and there’s just no way Newcastle will pay Liverpool’s asking price of £20M for Carroll.

What do you think?