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Rodgers: Carroll 'a strategic decision'

Brendan Rodgers has said that he refused to give Andy Carroll a guarantee of first-team football at Anfield, leading to Liverpool's record signing joining West Ham.

• Blog: Carroll signs as West Ham signal ambition

The £35 million forward finalised a season-long loan deal at Upton Park, giving Rodgers 24 hours to find a replacement in attack.

And the Liverpool manager called Carroll's departure "a strategic decision" that gives him room for manoeuvre in the transfer market as he looks to bolster his squad.

Arsenal winger Theo Walcott and Fulham's Clint Dempsey are on Rodgers' radar, while Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge has also been linked with Liverpool.

Rodgers said: "I have had conversations with Andy right throughout the summer. When I came in I spoke with all the players and made it clear where they stood. Andy made it clear he wanted this to be a season where he was going to be playing regularly. Obviously I couldn't guarantee that."

The Liverpool manager felt Carroll was unfortunate to be burdened with such a big price tag, but the England international only scored twice in his last 28 league games for the club.

"The club made a monumental investment in Andy," Rodgers added. "Unfortunately for us, we are not in a position to have a £35 million player not playing regularly. He has worked well in training but I can only pick 11 players and I have some wonderful talents here like Luis Suarez so it was difficult for him to get a game here.

"We are making a strategic decision to let Andy go out. We need cover, we need other players to come in and help the group."

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