Newcastle United are preparing a summer bid for Liverpool striker Andy Carroll.

The Journal says West Ham's admission that they cannot afford to put together a package for the England striker in the summer has effectively kick-started the battle for Carroll's signature, with Newcastle becoming increasingly confident that they can persuade him to return.

There is a belief in the Magpies camp that Liverpool may be more willing to do a deal this summer than last year, when they flat-batted an offer from Newcastle.