Alan Pardew, the Newcastle United manager, is today preparing for life without Andy Carroll as he attempts to draw a line under a simmering row following the striker's transfer window move to Liverpool.
Newcastle fans woke up yesterday to the reality that the No 9 they hoped would prove lead them into new era was instead on Merseyside to begin the process of doing the same in a red, rather than black and white shirt.
There was anger and astonishment at the £35 million (Dh207m) deadline day deal which took Carroll to Liverpool and claim and counter-claim over how the deal, which in turn sparked the exit of Fernando Torres from Anfield and arrival at Chelsea, unfolded.
Carroll claims he was forced out while Newcastle insist nobody made him put in the transfer request that paved the way for his move.
But Pardew's focus is firmly on what happens next. Asked if the windfall the club had received for their most prominent academy graduate could provide a launch-pad for future success, he replied: "For the Newcastle fan, that is the most important message I can give today, that all that money will be used. Could it have been used yesterday [Monday night]? Late last night, we made a couple of bids, but we were getting extortionate figures thrown at us. It was ridiculous.
"Were we going to pay an over-hiked price for a lesser product than Andy Carroll? No, so unfortunately as I sit here now, I am weaker than I was yesterday because I had Andy Carroll maybe four or five weeks away [from full fitness]."
However, even as Carroll completed the formalities of his transfer, there was dissent over the manner of his departure as he claimed he was being forced out of his hometown club in a series of text messages sent to Steve Wraith, his friend and the editor of the Toon Talk fanzine.
That crystallised further yesterday when the player told the Evening Chronicle: " ...[Managing director] Derek [Llambias] asked me to hand in a transfer request, so I was pushed into a corner and had no choice.
"I wasn't wanted by them and they made it clear they wanted the money.
"I'm gutted that I wasn't wanted at my home team after everything I have done and [the] progress I have made. I didn't want to leave at all."
However, Pardew insisted the club only decided to sell the player when he and his representatives asked for a new and improved contract just three months after he signed a five-and-a-half-year deal.
Pardew said: "When he says some of the things he has said, he is probably slightly misguided because you don't force anybody to do anything.
"We certainly didn't twist his arm to put in a transfer request.
"He indicated to me in my room that he wanted a new deal, and if he wasn't going to get a new deal, he wanted to have the option of talking to Liverpool.
"I said, 'You need to put that in writing, Andy, if you are going to do that', and he did, and that's it."
* Press Association
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