And if they have that opportunity at the end of the 2012-13 Premier League season, it's something that the Merseyside club should do in an instant.
West Ham co-owner David Sullivan recently spoke out via Sky Sports saying that an agreement is in place between the two clubs for the Hammers to sign Carroll at the end of the season, but that no deal had officially been reached with the player himself:
West Ham have an agreement with Liverpool to sign him at the end of the season, but we have no agreement with the player.
It was his desire to come to West Ham to prove himself to Liverpool and that hasn't changed. He has had injuries since he came, but he is back to fitness now and we have 15 games left... we need some goals and some points, so let's see.
Current West Ham manager Sam Allardyce shed further light on the matter via talkSPORT (h/t Sky Sports), saying that the remainder of the current Premier League season would indicate whether a permanent deal would be established or not:
[Andy Caroll] He's had a disrupted season, but he'll only get better if he's got a settled future, whether that's with us or not [I don't know].
It would be a long process though. We will have a conversation at the end of the season with Andy and Liverpool. It all depends on how he feels and what he does between now and the end of the season. It's also about where Andy thinks his future lies. He hasn't thought about that yet, he just wants to play as much as he can.
There are not many of Andy Carroll's type. The sad thing for football is that it now seems unfashionable to have a big centre forward in your team, which really disappoints me. It excites people when you see him rise above everybody else to get the ball in the back of the net...
Carroll scored just the second goal of his loan career at the club last weekend, netting the game-winner against Swansea City in the second half.
His time at Upton Park has been marred by injuries. However, as Allardyce intimates, the club certainly don't seem to be letting that cloud their judgment.
What they're most likely judging him by is the success he had at Newcastle United two years back—the same success that Liverpool saw and deemed to be worth a staggering transfer fee and move.
The only problem for the Merseyside has been that, so far, Carroll has largely disappointed at the club—so much so that a loan move away was allowed.
Which, for a £35 million-rated striker, is simply ridiculous.
Through 2009 to 2011, Carroll netted 18 Premier League goals in 58 appearances, as Newcastle United stormed their way to the top of the Championship table.
However, at Liverpool, Carroll has scored just six goals, with his 2011-12 season one to forget for the England international. He netted just four goals from 35 league appearances, though he did grab himself some goals in the Reds' strong FA Cup run.
Having invested so much in him in the first place, it's understandable that Liverpool want to stand by the striker and try and get the best out of their £35 million, especially given the fact that Carroll is still only 24 years old this season.
However, the Reds need to make a decision one way or the other on Carroll this summer, rather than just keep him around and hope he becomes good.
The England international would still command a healthy transfer price, which the club could use to further bolster their squad—even though it would most likely not come close to matching the original £35 million that they paid for him.
They need to cut their losses on that and move on.
Brendan Rodgers already has the Merseyside men traveling in a far different direction to where they were heading under Kenny Daglish with Andy Carroll in the side.
And if their latest performance against Manchester City is anything to go by, then the Reds certainly don't need Carroll in their squad at the moment—especially given he might not make the starting team.
Luis Suarez and new signing Daniel Sturridge are thriving together so far, with the former Chelsea striker continuing to find the back of the net for his new club.
The likes of Raheem Sterling, Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson and Joe Allen all continue to thrive behind the pair in midfield, with their latest transfer addition, Philipe Coutinho, set to increase their attacking potential even more.
The Brazilian international will likely slot in behind Suarez and Sturridge, adding another dimension to Liverpool's play going forward this year.
Granted, few clubs will say no to having a strong, go-to presence in the box like Carroll, but Liverpool feel they already have that in Suarez and/or Sturridge.
The Uruguayan international in particular has been strong throughout the season so far—netting a bag full of goals—and thus proved to Rodgers that the club don't need Carroll and his £35-million transfer fee in their plans for the future.
The additions of both Sturridge and Coutinho over the recent winter transfer window seem to suggest that Rodgers might just agree.
Would Andy Carroll be a good long-term signing for West Ham?
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