Betfred Sport

Carroll doesn't travel to Belarus

It is another day and another story in the Andy Carroll soap opera on Merseyside.

The 23-year-old, whose precarious future has dominated Liverpool’s summer transfer activity so far, has not travelled with the first-team squad to Belarus.

Liverpool will play FC Gomel on Thursday in the Europa League third qualifying round, which is Brendan Rodgers first competitive match in charge as Reds manager.

Initially, he had been included in the squad and with no restriction on potentially being cup-tied, was expected to lead the attack in this match, especially as Luis Suarez and Craig Bellamy are both unavailable due to Olympic participation.

However, as the squad flew out of the country earlier, there was no sign of the England striker.

Preferred option

The official reason Liverpool have given is that he has a slight groin strain.

Earlier in the week, West Ham United had been reported to have had a loan agreement in place for the Anfield flop, although this has been strenuously denied by all parties.

Carroll’s preferred option if he isn’t wanted at Liverpool, is for a return to his hometown club, Newcastle United.

This could depend on Demba Ba’s future and with a release clause in his contract expiring yesterday, the Senegalese striker is more than likely now to stay on Tyneside.

It is probable that new Kop signing Fabio Borini and youngster Adam Morgan will lead the line in Eastern Europe, with Joe Cole and Jonjo Shelvey being potentially used in more attacking roles.

As for Carroll, this could be the clearest signal yet that his future lies completely away from Anfield.

By Simon Wright – Follow me on Twitter @Siwri88

Follow Total Football on Twitter: @TotalFootball12

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