London – Liverpool outcast Andy Carroll made a dramatic dash to Essex on Thursday night to agree a season-long loan move to West Ham.
Britain’s most expensive footballer flew south by helicopter from Merseyside to complete a sensational swoop by the Londoners.
His new club were keen to ensure the England striker, 23, is registered before noon on Friday, which will enable him to line up against Fulham at lunchtime on Saturday.
West Ham will pay a £1.5million loan fee to Liverpool as well as paying the former Newcastle man’s £80,000-per-week wages.
The Hammers will sign Carroll for £18m on a permanent transfer next summer if they avoid relegation.
Carroll’s move to Upton Park ends one of the longest-running transfer sagas of the summer just hours before the transfer window shuts at 11pm tonight.
After putting pen to paper, Carroll said: “It’s great to be here at West Ham and all signed up – I just can’t wait to get started now, I want to be playing games and obviously hoping to score some goals.
“I know the manager well and some of the lads, so it is nice for me to come to a place where I know people.
“I’m hoping to add a lot of goals and create a few chances. I know Sam from Newcastle and he was a massive reason for me coming. When I worked with him at Newcastle it was great so it was a no-brainer really.”
Hammers manager Sam Allardyce added: “I think for all parties this is a great signing. Andy is an all-round footballer, but because he is 6ft 3in and one of his strengths is his aerial power, everybody dismisses the ability he possesses on the floor.
“Hopefully he can score goals for us and we will be in a very good position at the end of the year in the Barclays Premier League.”
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has made it crystal clear that Carroll is not key to his Anfield revolution.
Rodgers, who will not have to face Carroll when his side play West Ham as part of the loan agreement, said: “It is very simple: the club made a monumental investment in big Andy and at this moment in time he’s not playing.
“He made it clear very clear from when we first met in the summer that he wants to play games and obviously (with the window closing) this is the last chance for him to go and do that.
“Then obviously we can assess it over the course of the next six months or a season. So that’s it.”
Carroll has endured a torrid time at Anfield since arriving from Newcastle – who were also interested in re-signing the forward this summer – in January 2011 for a club record £35million.
He has scored just six Premier League goals during his short stay at the club.
Carroll’s exit will release funds for Rodgers to make last-minute signings on Friday. The Liverpool boss is keen on Fulham forward Clint Dempsey and Theo Walcott – though it is understood the Arsenal winger would turn down the chance to move to Anfield.
Liverpool will also decide on Friday whether to press ahead with plans to sign Chelsea’s wantaway forward Daniel Sturridge on loan.
They also completed the £1m signing of Samed Yesil from Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen. The 18-year-old striker is of Turkish descent and has scored 22 goals in 26 appearances for Germany at U16, U17 and U18 level.
Among those departing are midfielder Jay Spearing, who on Friady night signed for Bolton on a six-month loan deal, and Charlie Adam, who will become a Stoke player on Friday for £4m.
But Joe Cole on Thursday rejected a lucrative £3m-per-year tax-free offer from Russian giants Spartak Moscow. The Liverpool forward, who spent last season on loan at French club Lille, is back at Anfield and was thought to be in Rodgers’s plans. – Daily Mail