Manchester City have rejected an offer from Liverpool to swap Carlos Tevez for £35 million misfit Andy Carroll.
The Merseysiders contacted City’s Football Administration Officer Brian Marwood with the proposal on Thursday – just hours after beating the Blues in the Carling Cup semi-final, according to the Daily Mirror.
Marwood rebuffed the idea immediately, even though Carroll is a player Roberto Mancini has admitted admiring when he was at Newcastle.
The move demonstrates how Liverpool are now openly looking at offloading Carroll despite Kenny Dalglish's praise for the player after the 2-1 FA Cup defeat of Manchester United.
Carroll has scored only six goals in 35 appearances since becoming the eighth most expensive footballer in history and has not even been able to establish himself as a regular starter this season.
His problems adapting on Merseyside have also left Liverpool willing to take a £10 million hit on the player, with Tevez valued at £25 million.
City are desperate to offload Tevez – but boss Roberto Mancini had no interest in signing Carroll.
Tevez is set to return to the Etihad Stadium this week – and will be hit by another charge of bringing his club into disrepute after spending the last six week’s in Buenos Aires without the club’s permission.
City are keeping their options open – including sacking Tevez for breach of contract and suing him for damaging his own value.
Carroll is also battling to regain his place in the England squad with manager Fabio Capello having already expressed reservations about the lifestyle of a player who has managed only two league goals this season in 20 appearances.
Carroll's longest run of starts this season is three games and Marwood's decision was made on the basis that he could no longer improve their team even though Mancini has a shortage of front players at a time when Tevez's strike is in its 11th week and Mario Balotelli is now serving a four-match suspension.
Tevez is planning to return to Manchester next week now it has become apparent that Milan are not able to meet City's asking price and, unless anything changes before Tuesday's transfer deadline, his adviser, Kia Joorabchian, says the Argentinian wants to re-establish himself in the team.
Whether that is possible remains to be seen, with Mancini not prepared to entertain the idea unless there is an apology from Tevez for walking out on the club and the string of other offences that have already led to him being found guilty of gross misconduct and losing almost £10 million in wages, fines and lost bonuses since the start of the season.
Tevez is still a formidable striker and finished as the league's joint-top scorer last season, but he will be returning to England with a severely damaged reputation and Liverpool's attempt to take him along the M62 will surprise many people given his propensity for causing dressing-room problems and an apparent dislike of living in England.