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Liverpool sign Andy Carroll from Newcastle

Liverpool have signed striker Andy Carroll from Newcastle for a club record fee of about £35m.

"Andy Carroll has completed his move from Newcastle to Liverpool and has signed a five-and-a-half-year-deal," read a Liverpool statement.

The 22-year-old will wear the number nine shirt vacated by Fernando Torres, who has sealed his move to Chelsea.

Carroll has scored 11 goals in 19 league games this season and made his full England debut in November.

Newcastle confirmed that Carroll's transfer request was "reluctantly accepted" on Monday afternoon, and his move was finalised shortly before the transfer deadline (2300 GMT).

Liverpool have also signed Ajax striker Luis Suarez for a £22.7m fee, but recouped about £50m of their transfer-day spending by selling Fernando Torres to Chelsea.

Academy graduate Carroll played a key role in the Magpies' promotion from the Championship last season and had continued to shine since being handed the club's number nine shirt during the summer.

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew had repeatedly stated that the player was not for sale but the club's owner Mike Ashley and managing director Derek Llambias have tried to bring a financial realism to the club during their time at the helm.

Former Magpies and England striker Alan Shearer told BBC Radio 5 live fans would be "angry and disappointed" that Carroll was sold, but the huge transfer fee would have been difficult to turn down.

"It's an incredible amount of money, you have to say that, for a guy who's scored - what is it? - 14 goals and had half a season in the Premier League, albeit having done very well and the potential is there," said Shearer.

"He's a very young guy, he's been in trouble once or twice before and that would be the major concern."

Carroll is currently out of action with a torn thigh muscle which has kept him sidelined for the last five games and which prompted his visit to a specialist in Sweden on Friday.

Liverpool also signed Coventry City's England Under-17 midfielder Conor Thomas.

The 17 year-old joins on loan for the rest of the season with a view to a permanent move.

Posted on Tuesday 1st February 2011

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