New Liverpool striker Andy Carroll hit out at former club Newcastle by claiming he was forced to leave St James’ Park against his will.
The 22-year-old completed a shock £35 million move to Anfield on Monday and reportedly told friends in a series of text messages that he wanted to remain on Tyneside.
But the former Newcastle No.9 claims he felt “unwanted” by his boyhood club after they refused to re-negotiate his contract, despite only signing a new five-year deal in October.
“The owner [Mike Ashley] made it clear to me that I was not wanted at the club, saying that his own helicopter is waiting for me to go down and talk to them,” Carroll told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.
“So being shown I’m not wanted I said ‘OK, I will talk to them’. Then suddenly the bid was rejected.
“Then 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. I’m gutted that I wasn’t wanted by my home team.”
Carroll paints a contrasting picture to that of Newcastle boss Alan Pardew, who had earlier contradicted the Gateshead-born target-man’s version of events.
Pardew told Sky Sports News: “He [Carroll] had a contract here for five years, and at some point it would get renewed, but for him to sign in October and want it renewed in January – where would it stop?
“Was this about football? That’s what you have to ask and I don’t think it was.
“I went to see him, and face-to-face, we had a conversation about wanting a new contract, even though he signed in October, and if he didn’t get that contract, he wanted to go.”
Despite Pardew losing the focal point of his attack and failing to land a suitable replacement before the window shut, he has been promised that the whole fee will be re-invested back into the team in the summer.
"The one thing I said to Mike yesterday was, 'Look, if this boy is going to go, this money has to be reinvested in the team, all of it', and he has assured me of that."
By James Martini