Overnight reports claim Liverpool have their eye on Newcastle United playmaker Hatem Ben Arfa.
According to the Guardian, Reds manager Brendan Rodgers wants to trade striker Andy Carroll for the French international schemer.
Carroll is currently on loan at West Ham until the end of the season, but it has been made abundantly clear that he has no place in Rodgers’ Anfield revolution, which relies on pace and clever movement upfront.
Newcastle are said to be keen on bringing local hero Carroll back to Tyneside, after Demba Ba moved to Chelsea, and Loic Remy opted to cash QPR’s cheques instead of move to St James’ Park.
Ben Arfa was linked to PSG during the January transfer window, and has made no secret of his desire to play for the club he supported as a boy. But due to a nagging hamstring injury, he chose not to pursue a move last month.
Rodgers is known to be a firm admirer of Ben Arfa’s jinking skills, and would love to deploy him in a wide-right position, allowing him to cut in on his lethal left-foot, as an upgrade to Stewart Downing.
Ben Arfa’s value has soared since his move to Newcastle, and would probably cost too much for Liverpool to buy outright.
But throw in Andy Carroll as a lumbering, pony-tailed makeweight, and perhaps a deal in the interests of the Reds and Magpies can be arranged.