Rodgers sees Carroll as cover

Liverpool manager urges fringe men to decide if they want to play

Andy Carroll: A £35million cover player, according to Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers

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Brendan Rodgers has described Andy Carroll as a 'cover player' but says Liverpool are in no position to have a £35million signing as their third-choice striker.

Carroll joined the Reds in a big-money deal from Newcastle 18 months ago but his future has been the subject of intense speculation since Rodgers took charge of the club over the summer after it became clear he did not fit into the manager's preferred playing style.

However, the situation has become complicated as Liverpool want a good price for a player they spent so much on, while Carroll appears keen to stay at Anfield and fight for a place in the team.

"You don't need to be a rocket scientist to see Andy's been a cover player... But, as a club, I'm not sure we are in a position to have £35million players as third-choice strikers. "

Brendan Rodgers

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Rodgers has nothing but praise for the 23-year-old's attitude but believes players who are not part of his plans should be looking to move on in search of more regular football.

"You don't need to be a rocket scientist to see Andy's been a cover player but he's been excellent in his attitude and acceptance of where he is at," Rodgers said.

"But, as a club, I'm not sure we are in a position to have £35million players as third-choice strikers, or a winger on £5-6m a year.

"There's still a wee bit of thinking time, and it's hard to walk away from here. The ones who want to play will probably look elsewhere, irrespective of finance, because that's their passion."

Financial repair

Liverpool have been connected with moves for a number of players but Rodgers admits he cannot bring in reinforcements while there are so many fringe men reluctant to leave.

He explained: "The club financially needs repair. So to sign the players linked, unfortunately I don't have the ability to do that - not in this window anyway.

"This is an incredible club and some players, even if you want to move them on, won't walk out.

"I can only ever be straight with players.

"I've made it clear my group will be made up of starting players, cover players who can come in, and development players who can progress.

"If you feature outside of that I will tell you and then it is up to the player what they want - do they want to play football?"