There will now only be an option to buy the player rather than a commitment to do so. The softening of Carroll’s stance was key to the opening of fresh series of talks between the clubs, and having been left out of the squad for Liverpool’s Europa League qualifier with Hearts on Thursday night, the 23 year-old opened up to the possibility of a move to Upton Park.
The only complication was the terms of the deal. Since making their initial bid which would have led to a permanent £17m deal if they avoided relegation, West Ham have invested in their squad, including the £11 million signing of Matt Jarvis from Wolves.
However, the fact both sides reopened negotiations underlined how keen the clubs were to do the deal and Carroll’s position had shifted. He had always maintained his preference to remain at Anfield and fight for his place, but manager Brendan Rodgers this week described him as his ‘third choice’ centre forward and said Liverpool ‘couldn’t afford to keep a £35 million striker on the bench’.