**Edit: As first pointed out by kopite in the comments section, Neil Jones from the Liverpool Echo denies that a deal has been struck. Worth noting that he also commented that it doesn't mean it won't happen, but I guess for now it's egg on my face and back to EVERYTHING BEING AWESOME. Or something.**
The first club truly linked with a move for Andy Carroll has apparently proven to be the one that'll house the striker for at least the coming season, with Sam Allardyce's West Ham agreeing a £2m loan fee for the English forward. The deal looks to be essentially the one discussed the other day, with the loan giving way to a permanent move worth around £17m.
It's not quite a post mortem, as depending on the specifics of the deal the loan may still allow for Carroll's return at season's end. But it looks an awful lot like the few minutes we saw from Andy Carroll in Baltimore on Saturday will be his last in a Liverpool shirt, and now the responsibility falls to Brendan Rodgers and company to fill a void that leaves Fabio Borini as the club's only striker to start a season that kicks off in earnest in three days.
That's harrowing enough ahead of the Gomel tie, and it surely demands that Liverpool add to their roster quickly--with Alberto Aquilani and now Carroll headed out, that's a large chunk of wages off the table, and ostensibly it allows for Rodgers to make the moves he's been wanting so long as transfer fees can be agreed upon. It's hard to put a positive spin on the ways things have gone to this point; Dirk Kuyt, Maxi, and now Andy Carroll gone, only Fabio Borini in. Just because they're gone doesn't mean they'd have cured all of Liverpool's ills, but they'd certainly provide both experience and quality as the season got underway. Now it's Borini and the youngsters until Luis Suarez and Craig Bellamy return, which is at best a frighteningly intriguing proposition.
So I guess it's goodbye for now to Andy Carroll, and hopefully he gets both regular playing time and a good run of form for West Ham. If there's a return to Liverpool in his future I'd welcome him back, but if not, we're left saying best of luck in what's hopefully a long and successful career.