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Arsenal need depth in defensive midfield

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Hammers prepare Carroll bid

West Ham United are hoping to capitalise on the uncertainty surrounding Andy Carroll's Anfield future by making a move to sign the Liverpool striker.

• Liverpool open to offers for Carroll
• Rodgers: Borini will shine
• Lambert open to Carroll bid

The Reds have already held talks about Carroll with Newcastle, Fulham and the Hammers, but have yet to receive a bid that meets their expectations.

Liverpool bought Carroll from Newcastle for £35 million and are prepared to cut their losses, but sources at West Ham claim the Reds will only accept a drop of £15 million.

Newcastle, who offered to cover a small portion of Carroll's £80,000-a-week salary, had a loan bid rejected on Sunday, and now West Ham are ready to test the water despite Liverpool being keen to secure a permanent deal.

West Ham may have the best chance to snap up Carroll, who worked with both midfielder Kevin Nolan and manager Sam Allardyce during their time at St. James' Park. All three share the same agent.

But West Ham will not buy Carroll outright, and a Hammers insider told ESPN: "West Ham are only interested in a loan with option to buy."

The East London club cannot afford to buy Carroll outright unless they are still in the Premier League at the end of the season, and Allardyce might want to gamble that the striker's presence would help ensure the club's status in the top flight.

However, if West Ham and Liverpool can reach a compromise on that issue, Carroll could be on his way to Upton Park.

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