According to a few reports on Tyneside today, Steve Bruce is desperate to keep Andy Carroll at the club – but a undiagnosed hip injury has thrown his future into doubt.
The 31-year-old signed an ‘initial one-year contract’ with the club last summer, meaning his current deal is due to expire at the end of the season.
The Northern Echo claim Steve Bruce will ‘urge’ Lee Charnley to open talks with the striker over an extension – believing he still has a lot to offer both on and off the pitch – but The Mirror’s Simon Bird reports that his losing battle to stay fit has put any hopes of a new deal ‘on hold’.
The Echo claim that Newcastle will demand that Carroll agrees to another ‘pay-as-you-play’ style agreement should he earn an extension, but it seems he’ll need to prove his fitness between now and the end of the season if he wants to stay at St James’ Park for another year.
Despite not scoring since his return to Tyneside, Carroll has bagged four assists (a tally only Christian Atsu has bettered), always gives his all and has been a real handful during a few late cameos off the bench. That said, the fact he’s started just FOUR games all season is a concern.
The positives are that his ankle – which he had reconstructive surgery on last summer – seems to be holding up, but this mystery hip injury has meant he’s played just 11 minutes of football since the turn of the year.
For his sake and ours, let’s hope he can get this hip sorted out and get fully fit again ASAP – especially when we decided not to sign a striker in January!