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West Ham set to save Chelsea from Andy Carroll loan — report

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West Ham United v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League Photo by Rob Newell - CameraSport via Getty Images

If you squint just right, Chelsea’s ... ambition ... to bring in Andy Carroll on loan from West Ham makes some sense.

Carroll may be the butt of many jokes, but he’s undoubtedly excellent at being big, playing big, and heading the ball with rare force, and if there is one thing that Chelsea have been very good at this season is scoring goals with headers. Conte also still doesn’t seem to trust Michy Batshuayi beyond just cameos and the odd starts in cup matches, so having a backup striker he’s more willing to use could indeed be a useful thing. Whether Carroll actually ticks the Conte part of this equation could be up for debate, but considering the trend of looking at backups who match his general style (Llorente, Benteke, etc), it’s not a huge leap to assume that Carroll might be on Conte’s list of potential targets. Chelsea looking to bring in the oft-injured striker only on loan would also make this a low-risk high-reward acquisition indeed.

Still, it would not be a good “look”, even if it might be funny (for various reasons) to see how Barcelona would handle a big lump like the 29-year-old.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your perspective), according to Simon Johnson of the Evening Standard, West Ham are not willing to sanction a loan move for Carroll.

Unfortunately, that re-opens the possibility of a permanent move...