Wednesday’s Football Transfer Talk

Andy Carroll tried hard not to give anything away when he was asked after last Sunday’s finale whether he would be joining West Ham on a permanent basis next season.

But one got the feeling that he was hardly jumping for joy inside at the prospect of remaining for any length of time with a team, who, with the best will in the world, are unlikely to be providing him with the Champions League action he craves any time soon.

So it is no surprise to learn now that Carroll wants to stay at Liverpool, who do have more realistic Champions League ambitions (Coral go 13/8 a top four finish next season). Brendan Rodgers let the Geordie with the £35m price tag know that he didn’t feature in his Liverpool plans almost as soon as took over at Anfield and a £15.5m bid from West Ham early this week was accepted, prompting some layers to go 1/12 that he starts next season in Hammers claret and blue.

But apparently Carroll is determined to stay at Liverpool, even though he knows he will be operating as a squad player. The striker has a strong belief in his own ability and hopes he can play often enough and well enough to convince his boss that he is worth a regular starting place.

Meanwhile admirers of Radamel Falcao, and that includes just about every top Club in Europe, will not have been unduly dismayed by his recent comments about staying on with Spanish Cup winners, Athletico Madrid.

The 27-year-old Colombian insisted that he was happy where he was and pointed out that there are still three years on his contract left to run, but added significantly: “Of course, it depends on what the financial needs of my Club are and what sort of efforts Athletico make to keep me.”

Well, those efforts may not be all that determined, judging by recent remarks from Athletico Madrid’s hierarchy, who pointed out that they had been happy to let the likes of Diego Forlan, Fernando Torres and Sergio Aguero leave for the right price and would survive quite nicely without their latest star striker.

So expect a £50m plus bid soon from either Monaco, the favourites, or Manchester City, who, judging by the markets, are more likely than Chelsea of Man United to stump up that sort of money.

City attacking midfielder Samir Nasri has been making similar noises to Falcao in response to a move away from City, probably to P.S.G. The Frenchman called the speculation “rubbish”, but, like others at the Etihad, cannot be overconfident about even his immediate future with a new manager, probably Manuel Pellegrini, about to walk through the door.

Written by Jon Freeman