West Ham United striker Andy Carroll has indicated he has no interest in re-joining Newcastle United by claiming he is ready to fight for his future at Upton Park.
The 25-year-old hasn't played this season after ankle surgery and reports emerged earlier this week that the Hammers were considering cutting their loses, suggestions that were accentuated by co-owner David Gold posting articles containing such claims on Twitter.
Early indications were that Carroll, who left Newcastle in the 2011 January transfer window for Liverpool, was not considering a move away from West Ham and the England international has reinforced those reports.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, Carroll said: "I don't mind a battle, and every team needs competition for places. That is one of the things we have here [at West Ham] — everyone is fighting for their place.
"It has been mixed emotions for me watching the team this season. I am desperate to be out there on the pitch but I remember the Liverpool game when I was jumping up and down watching from the box. I think I did enough work for that day on my ankle!
"I know I've had problems with injuries and I'm not hiding away from that. Hopefully this is the last one and I can get it out of the way. The club have put a lot of faith in me, paying so much money, but I don't feel like I've let them down. It's an injury that I couldn't help."
Carroll missed much of last season with a heel injury, scoring just twice in 15 appearances for West Ham in his first full permanent season in east London after a loan spell at the club.
Rumours regarding Carroll's potential return to Newcastle have been heightened by the Toon's struggles in front of goal this term, which has seen them score just seven times in as many games.
However, the return of Papiss Cisse has improved the club's attacking threat, with the Senegal international scoring four times in three appearances since returning from a knee problem and former captain Alan Shearer has said Newcastle must keep the player fit.
"The one thing is keeping him fit and the other is keep on giving him chances," Shearer told The Chronicle. "They are two things we must try to do because at the minute he looks like the only one who can score us goals."