Liverpool lining up Ben Arfa deal using Carroll as a carrot for Newcastle
23:58 GMT, 5 February 2013
08:14 GMT, 6 February 2013
Liverpool are tracking Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa as Brendan Rodgers begins his plans for a summer recruitment drive.
The French international, 25, could be targeted as part of a swap deal that would see Andy Carroll return to St James’ Park.
Target: Liverpool are considering bringing Hatem Ben Arfa to Anfield
Swap: Andy Carroll could be offered back to Newcastle as part of the deal for Ben Arfa
Ben Arfa has not featured for Newcastle since December 10 because of a hamstring injury.
He has long been admired by Rodgers even though he represents a slightly older purchase than many Anfield transfer targets.
Ben Arfa didn't push for a Newcastle exit during the transfer window but his loyalty to the club is likely to be severely tested in the summer. He will certainly have plenty of people to prevent him feeling homesick, as Alan Pardew bought six French-speaking players during the transfer window.
Return: Carroll's career never took off at Liverpool and his was loaned out to West Ham in the summer
Nonetheless, Ben Arfa has previously stated a desire to play for the rich, Qatari-backed club Paris Saint-Germain.
Carroll has been on loan at West Ham after the 35million signing found it hard to make a mark at Anfield.
He has scored twice in 12 appearances for the Hammers so far, the latest coming on Saturday when he headed the winner against Swansea having returned the side following a two-month injury lay-off.