Newcastle United are reportedly still keeping tabs on Liverpool striker Andy Carroll and are considering making a fresh approach to bring the England international back to St James' Park in the summer.
Last summer the Magpies had made an effort to take the 24-year-old on a season-long loan, with a potential £12m transfer at the end of the current campaign. But the deal did not materialise and the player was farmed out to West Ham United instead.
Newcastle signed Bordeaux forward Yoan Gouffran in January to replace Demba Ba, who joined Chelsea early on in the month. Despite the addition of a striker, Alan Pardew is still keen on landing Carroll next summer, according to the Newcastle Chronicle, who also reports the FIFA regulation on players' loan moves for a season was a major reason that the Toon did not make a move for the player in January.
Carroll, who has just returned from a knee injury, has failed to settle in at the east London club, scoring just two goals so far. It seems uncertain whether West Ham will go ahead with their option to sign him on a permanent basis for £17m in the summer. The Hammers added Cruzeiro foward Wellington Paulista and Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh on loan in January, indicating that they are also looking at other options.
The Liverpool star's transfer fee is likely to come down again in the summer if West Ham decides against buying him. The report also claims Carroll would be open to a return to Newcastle next season.
"He is focused on matters on the field with them and has been chuffed with their fans after getting such a warm welcome in the East End before being hit with injury. After the season he will consider his options properly but wants to know what the longer-term future holds like any player. Newcastle are still a club close to his heart and the lure of returning to home would be appealing to him," the Chronicle quoted a source close to Carroll.