The Great Andy Carroll Debate looks to be in its final stages now that West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has weighed in to confirm the status of the dealings between his club and Liverpool over the striker's future.
"We are both out of the country but most of the negotiations are done and the financial agreement between us and Liverpool is in place," Allardyce confirmed. "It’s about communicating with Andy and his agent between London, here in Spain where I am and Florida where Andy is."
"I’ve no real need to speak to him over his decision. I’ve spoken to him enough times so he knows what I think and it’s up to him. He’s back in the next few days so we should have a definitive answer by the end of next week."
Carroll's new contract is reportedly for six years at £100,0000/week in wages plus a £2 million bonus from Liverpool for being purchased by another club without having formally requested a transfer. West Ham will pay the previously reported £15m transfer fee, although of course with Carroll's you-didn't-request-a-transfer bonus, Liverpool are only going to receive £13m.
The ball has pretty much always been in Carroll's court as to whether or not he'd sign with West Ham, given that they've accommodated every financial stumbling block they've previously said would prevent the deal from happening, from the transfer fee being too high for them to make work under Financial Fair Play rules to Carroll's £20K/week raise that would ruin their wage structure.
West Ham identified the player they wanted and have done everything in their power to make the deal happen, and at this point there is little reason Carroll would not agree to the deal. His wage demands have been met, he's getting a nice bonus from Liverpool, and all he needs to do is come back from Florida and sign on the dotted line.
Around these parts there has been a little renewed affection for Carroll as the negotiations drew on and on, and so perhaps it's fitting that one of the last images we'll have of Carroll while he's still under contract with Liverpool is of him lying on a beach in Florida, soaking up the sun in a pair of pink swim trunks, with a beer in hand. As it should be.