English Premiership

Carroll forced to leave?

2011-02-01 22:16

London - Andy Carroll has claimed Newcastle effectively forced him to join Liverpool, because they wanted to cash in on the England striker's £35 million pound (56 million dollars) price tag.

Carroll's transfer deadline-day switch to Anfield has infuriated Newcastle fans, but the 22-year-old insists he would have stayed given the choice.

Initial reports on Monday suggested Carroll had put in a transfer request in an attempt to persuade Newcastle to sell him, but he is adamant he was willing to commit his future to the club, only to be told he had to go because of the size of the fee.

"Managing director Derek Llambias asked me to hand in a transfer request, so I was pushed into a corner and had no choice. I wasn't wanted by them, and they made it clear they wanted the money," Carroll told the Evening Chronicle.

"Then I flew down in (owner Mike Ashley's) helicopter. I didn't want to leave.

"I'm gutted that I wasn't wanted at my home team after everything I have done and the progress I have made.

"I didn't want to leave at all. Make sure they know I didn't want to leave. The players, staff and fans were fantastic."

However, Newcastle manager Alan Pardew insisted Carroll decided to leave after the club ignored his request for an improved new contract.

Pardew told the Shields Gazette: "We didn't force anybody to leave. I disagree with that point.

"He had a contract here for five years, and at some point it would get renewed, but for him to sign in October and it get renewed in January - where would it stop?

"Personally, I'm disappointed. He's a lovely lad, and I really like him, but it was his decision, and you can't change that.

"Was this about football? That's what you have to ask. I don't think it was."

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