Liverpool look set to spark a record-breaking end to the January transfer window as they try to land Newcastle striker Andy Carroll as a replacement for Chelsea target Fernando Torres.
The Reds have had a bid of around £35 million accepted for Carroll which would smash the British transfer record if the 22-year-old England international can agree personal terms. Carroll's pending switch to Anfield has been prompted by Chelsea's determination to sign Torres for around £50million - which would set a new British record just hours after Carroll's deal.
Liverpool had two previous offers for Carroll rejected but the player - who despite having an impressive first season in the English Premier League has also made the front pages with some unsavoury headlines - forced Newcastle's hand by delivering a transfer request which the Magpies reluctantly accepted.
"A British record transfer fee has been agreed between Newcastle United and Liverpool for Magpies striker Andy Carroll," a Newcastle statement confirmed. "The 22-year-old England international has this afternoon handed in a transfer request, which has reluctantly been accepted by the club, and Carroll is currently in talks with the Reds over a move to Anfield."
Chelsea last week had a £35million pounds offer for Torres rejected, a move which prompted the 26-year-old to submit a written transfer request on Friday, which was also turned down. But Blues owner Roman Abramovich appears determined to make a landmark signing to revitalise Chelsea after two seasons of only modest investment in the Stamford Bridge squad.
Liverpool's pursuit of Carroll appeared to kill off any chance of them accepting a player-plus-cash deal for Torres amid rumours Chelsea had offered them one of Daniel Sturridge, Nicolas Anelka and Salomon Kalou as makeweights in the deal. However, Chelsea's huge offer may well prove enough to clinch the deal ahead of the 2300GMT transfer deadline.
Liverpool were also trying to sign Blackpool midfielder Charlie Adam even though the Seasiders were doing everything in their power to hold onto the Scotland star. Blackpool manager Ian Holloway claims chairman Karl Oyston is refusing to answer calls from Liverpool.
"I spoke to Kenny Dalglish the other day and he made an improved offer. I talked to the chairman about it and he turned it down. (Liverpool executive) Damien Comolli has now tried to contact Karl but he hasn't returned his calls," Holloway said. "He hasn't got to has he? It's pretty rude isn't it but if we run out of time...."
Meanwhile, defender Paul Konchesky's unhappy spell at Anfield was ended by a loan move to Championship club Nottingham Forest.
Elsewhere on the last day of the transfer window, Blackpool signed Republic of Ireland midfielder Andy Reid from Sunderland for an undisclosed fee. League Cup finalists Birmingham City signed Obafemi Martins in a six-month loan deal from Russian side Rubin Kazan after the Nigerian striker was granted a work permit.
Stoke striker Tuncay Sanli got his wish to leave the Britannia Stadium as the Turk moved to German club Wolfsburg on a three-and-a-half-year contract.