ALAN Pardew today hit back at Andy Carroll’s claim he was forced out of St James’s Park.
And Newcastle United’s manager also insisted he has been promised that Carroll’s £35m-plus fee will be reinvested in the team by owner Mike Ashley.
Carroll last night completed a transfer deadline day move to Liverpool after handing in a written transfer request.
But the striker told friends in a series of texts he didn’t want to leave Newcastle – and had been forced out because the United “wanted the money”.
However, Pardew says Carroll – who signed a new long-term contract in October – approached him about a new contract after training, and handed a transfer request in when the club baulked at renegotiating his deal so soon after it was signed.
Asked about Carroll’s texts, Pardew told the Gazette: “What can I say? We didn’t force anybody to leave.
“I disagree with that point. He had a contract here for five years, and at some point it would get renewed, but for him to sign in October and it get renewed in January – where would it stop?
“Personally, I’m disappointed. He’s a lovely lad, and I really like him, but it was his decision, and you can’t change that.
“Was this about football? That’s what you have to ask. I don’t think it was.”
Liverpool moved for Carroll after Chelsea hardened their interest in Fernando Torres, who last night joined Chelsea in a British-record £48m deal.
Pardew went on: “We turned down a big offer, and they came back with a second big offer.
“We were having a discussion about what we were going to do with that offer when Andy requested to see me.
“I went to see Andy, and face to face we had a conversation about him wanting a new contract, even though he signed on in October, and (he said) if he didn’t get that contract, he wanted go.
“I asked him what he wanted, and I went to the board. We had a discussion about what the ramifications would be for the whole club.
“We took the view, with him signing a contract in October, that this would cause us all sorts of problems.
“We decided that we needed the conversation confirmed, and he put in a transfer request, which he did.
“He spoke to his agent, and between them they put the request in. We decided with the size of the offer, and what it meant to us, that we would accept.”
Pardew – who “guaranteed” Carroll wouldn’t be sold after succeeding Chris Hughton in December – was unable to bring in a replacement given the last-minute nature of the deal, which was confirmed less than an hour before transfer-window deadline.
With Wayne Routledge and Xisco having left on loan, and only Stephen Ireland having signed, Pardew’s squad is significantly weaker than it was a month ago.
However, Pardew has taken Ashley’s assurances that the fee will be spent on players in the summer, and beyond, at face value.
“We weren’t expecting him to go, so we weren’t in a position to replace him,” added Pardew.
“One thing I can guarantee, having spoke to Mike Ashley, is that every penny will go back into the club. Mike’s assured me he won’t take a penny out of the transfer.”
And asked about his repeated assurances that Carroll wouldn’t be sold, Pardew said: “We never put him up for sale – we fended off a bid from another Premiership club.
“But no club’s about one player. We’re absolutely gutted that he’s gone. It’s disappointing, but we’re not in a financial position like Liverpool.”