Deadline day drama

Reds tie up shock deal for £35m Carroll

Liverpool make striker most expensive British footballer of all time and he’s joined by Suarez

LIVERPOOL last night made Andy Carroll the most expensive British footballer of all time after they paid Newcastle an astonishing £35m for the services of the England striker.

The St James’ Park club rejected two offers from Liverpool earlier in the day, as Kenny Dalglish attempted to compensate for the departure of Fernando Torres to Chelsea, before the 22-year-old handed in a transfer request and was given permission to open talks with the five-time European champions.

The deal was eventually concluded just before the 11pm deadline and took Liverpool’s spending during the transfer window to £57.8m after the club confirmed Ajax’s Uruguay striker Luis Suarez would wear their famous No7 shirt and form the other half of their new look forward line.

A Liverpool statement read: “Andy Carroll has tonight completed his transfer from Newcastle United to Liverpool FC and signed a five-and-a half-year deal that will keep him at Anfield until 2016.

“The deal was subject to the completion of a medical, which the player has now passed. Andy Carroll will wear the No9 shirt for Liverpool.”

The Anfield club’s late splurge could have been even greater had Blackpool not successfully fought tooth and nail to keep hold of midfield schemer Charlie Adam, while Manchester City rebuffed the Merseysiders’ approach for their right-back Micah Richards.

Carroll’s shock move to one of England’s elite clubs marks a remarkable rise for a player who this time last year had scored just four goals in Newcastle’s push for promotion from the Championship.

The powerful centre forward has scored 11 goals in this, his first full season in the Premier League and won his first full England cap in November.

The fee eclipses the £31.1m paid by Manchester United to Leeds for England captain Rio Ferdinand in July 2002 and is more than double what Newcastle paid for Alan Shearer, the man who Carroll inherited the Magpies’ No9 shirt from, in 1996.

Carroll is currently recovering from a thigh injury and flew to Sweden last week to see a specialist.