Carroll has not travelled to Belarus.
Andy Carroll has been left out of Liverpool’s squad for Thursday’s Europa League qualifier against FC Gomel in Belarus, despite a shortage of strikers available to boss Brendan Rodgers, reports the BBC.
The official line from Liverpool is that Carroll has a slight groin strain but his omission from the travelling party will prompt speculation that the striker is close to leaving the club.
West Ham are still trying to persuade Carroll to join them on an initial loan deal, after having a £19 million package accepted by Liverpool over the weekend.
The 23-year-old’s former club Newcastle are monitoring the situation and it is understood that Carroll will only leave Anfield to return to Tyneside.
UEFA rules do allow players to represent one club in Europa League qualifying and another in the group stages, meaning that the issue of being cup-tied is unlikely to feature in Liverpool’s thinking.
But the England striker’s omission still seems puzzling, given the lack of Luis Suarez and Craig Bellamy – both of whom are on Olympic duty. New signing Fabio Borini, meanwhile, is lacking match fitness after an extended break following Euro 2012.
Newcastle remain confident of re-signing the player they sold to Liverpool for £35 million just 18 months ago before the end of August.
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