Newcastle United chief executive Derek Llambias has denied claims Andy Carroll was forced out of St James’ Park.
Carroll joined Liverpool in a £35m deal on transfer deadline after the North East club accepted a transfer request from their then-leading goalscorer.
The 22-year-old later claimed that he was forced into the switch by the Magpies, but Llambias insists it was Carroll who wanted to make the move to Merseyside.
He told The Sun: “We didn't push Andy Carroll out, far from it - he asked to go.
“The fact is (owner) Mike Ashley didn't want to sell him, it's not like he needs the money is it? And remember we turned down bids of £30m and then £35m from Liverpool.
“That's serious money for a 22-year-old with only six months' experience in the Premier League. But finally Mike's point of view was the player's put in a transfer request, so what can we do?
“Andy was already earning top money at the club after signing a new deal recently.
“But he said he'd been offered £80,000-a-week from Liverpool and asked what we would pay to make him stay. We told him the club just couldn't afford to give him a deal like that, nothing close.
“And when we said 'No' - well, that's when he put in his transfer request.”