Liverpool have dismissed Newcastle United's bid to re-sign striker Andy Carroll on a season-long loan deal.
The Magpies offered to pay a portion of Carroll's £80,000 a week wages, with a view to signing him on a permanent basis in 2013. However the Reds' rejection on Sunday night seems to hint at them only considering offloading the number nine for an immediate fee.
Carroll's future at Anfield looks bleak after new manager Brendan Rodgers signed forward Fabio Borini from AS Roma at the weekend. That, coupled with Rodgers' emphasis on possession play rather than directness, has seemingly paved the way for the 23-year-old's departure.
Rodgers said only last week he would consider loaning Carroll, yet irrespective of how benign the Northern Irishman was when speaking about Carroll's role at Liverpool, pastures new beckon.
Signed for £35m during the expensive Kenny Dalglish era, the former Newcastle striker has floundered at the 18-times English champions.
Dalglish's sacking shortly after the 2011/12 season - in which Liverpool finished a dismal eighth - also arguably signalled the end of Carroll's career on Merseyside. The Scot vehemently supported the England international publicly, and Carroll ended the season with three goals in seven games, scoring the winner in the FA Cup semi-final derby against Everton.
But already in January he had been offered to Manchester City in a fantastical part-exchange deal for Carlos Tévez by former Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli.
Homesickness has also ostensibly been an issue. Carroll often retreated to the north-east during his first year at Liverpool, which aids the Toon Army's overtures to re-sign him.
Yet the half-season successes of Senegalese duo Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse, who scored 29 goals between them - with Ba shifted to the wing to accommodate his compatriot midway through the season - ensures Carroll would return from one substitute bench to another.
Shola Ameobi, a black and white veteran since 2000, already occupies the back-up battering ram role with minimal fuss too.
Carroll has made 56 appearances for Liverpool, scoring a lowly 11 goals - the same amount he scored for Newcastle in the 19 league games of the 2010/11 season he played in before his January transfer deadline day move.
He has only returned once to St James' Park since he left his boyhood club, when he ignominiously dived in an attempt to win a penalty but was yellow carded. Liverpool lost the April fixture 2-0 and Carroll was, much to his disgust, substituted in the second-half.