West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce says that signing Andy Carroll on a permanent deal is the club's 'top priority' this summer.
The 24-year old spent a successful season at Upton Park on loan from Liverpool and scored seven goals in 23 Premier League appearances.
The Hammers have reportedly tabled a £15m bid for the striker but a deal is yet to be agreed.
“At this moment in time, our first priority is signing Andy Carroll, if we can,” Allardyce told the club’s official website. “[The off-season is] about the recruitment of the other players who we want as quickly as we possibly can. That will be the most difficult part of this summer.”
West Ham have already moved quickly this summer to secure the signings of Razvan Rat and goalkeeper Adrian but are still struggling to finalise a deal for Carroll.
Last month, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers admitted he expected Carroll's future to be resolved sooner rather than later.
“We will talk again with him and the club to see how it all evolves,” said Rodgers. “It’s one of those situations where it will probably be resolved a lot quicker than that for both parties.”
Carroll was signed by Liverpool in January 2011 for £35m but has struggled to make an impact at Anfield. He has scored only six times in 44 Premier League appearances at the club. When Rodgers took over last summer, it was understood that the boss didn't think the 6ft 3in striker would fit into his passing philosophy.
It is expected that Carroll will agree personal terms with the Hammers and complete his move before the end of the summer transfer window.
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