Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has admitted he would still like to re-sign England striker Andy Carroll.
The Magpies launched an audacious cut-price bid to recapture the 23-year-old, who they sold to Liverpool for £35million in January 2011, when it became obvious he had little future at Liverpool under new manager Brendan Rodgers this summer. However, the Merseysiders opted instead to loan the player to West Ham, with whom he will return to St James' Park on Sunday.
But as he prepared to welcome the 6'3" striker and midfielder Kevin Nolan back to Tyneside, Pardew revealed he had not given up hope of clinching a permanent deal for the former. He told BBC Sport: "He's a Liverpool player and not wanted so at some point he's going to move permanently. I'd like to think we'll be in the mix for that."
Indeed, Pardew revealed he would happily take both men back if the financial side was right.
He said: "Big Andy hopefully one day will want to come back and certainly I'd like to have them both in my squad now because we would be stronger for it. But obviously finances restrict me from doing that."
Pardew had earlier admitted Carroll's "astronomical" fee had paved the way for the club's recent success. There was fury in the city when, despite the manager's repeated assertions to the contrary, Carroll was allowed to swap the north east for Anfield.
The powerful frontman is currently attempting to rebuild his reputation under former Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce, but Pardew believes the proceeds of the initial switch were central to what has been achieved since.
He said: "The position we are in, if I'm honest, is because we used the money from Andy's sale well. He was a brilliant player for us, but the fee was astronomical. We have used it well and we owe a great debt to him.
"It's nice to see Kevin come back. He did a super job here. Whatever he was asked to do, he conducted himself well. And he gets a goal. He has proven that at any level, he will get a goal.
"I'm looking forward to seeing them both and I enjoyed working with them. There will be a lot on the game. Kevin will be determined to get a result, as will Andy and the manager coming back."