Brendan Rodgers may have been noncommittal when asked about Andy Carroll's future as he prepares Liverpool to take on West Ham at Anfield on Sunday, but Hammers boss Sam Allardyce was far more direct on Friday when faced with the same line of questioning.
"I think there'd be a lot to be discussed between ourselves, Liverpool, and Andy," said Allardyce. "But once we're secure then we'll move on with that business as quick as we possibly can.
"I wouldn't have spent as much time as I did trying to get him here if I didn't want him here on a permanent basis. We would have hoped he'd score a few more goals, but the circumstances around why he hasn't are ones we can put right. In other words, keeping him match-fit would mean more goals."
Allardyce may be waiting until West Ham have secured their position in the Premier League before seeking to make Carroll's move permanent, but with the Hammers six points above the drop in eleventh the safe money will be on the London club staying up with room to spare.
"Andy looks to be in full flow and good goalscoring touch, which is what we've been waiting for a long time," Allardyce added. "It's frustrating to be without Andy for Sunday and it is for him as well but that's the way the fixtures have fallen."
There's still room for the parties to reach an impasse when it comes to the final fee West Ham might be willing to pay and just how big a loss on the £35M signing will be acceptable to Liverpool, and there's always the chance Carroll sees his future elsewhere, but for West Ham at least the desire to make the move permanent is clear.
As for the more immediate future, with Carroll unavailable for selection on Sunday, the Hammers will face a tough task as the promoted side attempt to seal a return to the Premier League for next season—West Ham haven't won at Anfield in half a century. Allardyce, though, believes his side is capable of breaking that streak.
"On any given day on your best form you can win anywhere," he said. "For most of those 50 years Liverpool have been so much better than everyone else that you wouldn't expect to win there, but we're capable of winning there and if we're on top form and take our chances we can."