Injuries dogged the former England striker’s career since leaving Tyneside. He has only played close to 38 league games in a season once since his £35m move to Anfield in January 2011. In the intervening 6½ years, he has made 98 Premier League appearances, scoring 30 goals.
During his previous spell with the Magpies, Carroll netted 31 times in 80 games which made him the darling of the Gallowgate End. A hero’s return to his native north-east would bring the 6’4 striker full circle to his boyhood club.
Chinese clubs tried to tempt him to the Super League in January 2017 but the deal couldn’t be completed before the transfer window closed.
For Rafa Benitez, Carroll’s experience is desperately needed. A 1 – 0 defeat at Huddersfield left the Geordies looking for their first goal and point on their return to the Premier League. The Spaniard is frustrated with the Newcastle owner Mike Ashley over the lack of transfer funds available, with the Sport Direct owner looking to sell all or part of his shares in the club.